Northern Ireland golf to the 'fore' in Florida

25 Jan 2013

Golf in Northern Ireland is ‘to the fore’ in Florida this week. A number of local golf and tourism operators – including Hastings Hotels, Lough Erne Resort, Ardglass Golf Club, North & West Coast Links, Royal Portrush and Royal County Down – have joined Tourism Ireland in Orlando for this year’s PGA Golf Merchandise Show.

The PGA Show in Orlando is one of the biggest golf exhibitions in the US, attracting more than 40,000 golf professionals and enthusiasts, as well as around 1,000 influential golf journalists, each year – providing a fantastic platform to highlight our world-class golf.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said: “The US golf market remains a priority for Tourism Ireland in 2013. Capitalising on the global success of our local golfers Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, as well as the legacy of the huge positive publicity around last summer’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush, Tourism Ireland is taking every opportunity to promote golf holidays in Northern Ireland.

“Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and Tourism Ireland is working hard to drive home the message that a golfing holiday in Northern Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of our world-class golf and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting American golfers to visit.”

Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of golf promotions in the US this year will include a presence at a number of other high profile golf events this year – including the Honda Classic in Florida in February, the AT&T National PGA event in Maryland in June, the Barclays in New Jersey in August, as well as at the US Masters in Augusta in April. Tourism Ireland’s updated ‘Home of Champions’ golf TV ad will run on the extremely popular Golf Channel this spring and summer, airing to millions of golf enthusiasts. And key American golf journalists have been invited by Tourism Ireland to come and experience Northern Ireland’s fantastic golf this year.

Golf tourism generates over £14 million per year for the local economy in Northern Ireland, with the average spend per golf visitor coming in at £300-£450, considerably higher than the average visitor spend.

Paul Vaughan, Ardglass Golf Club; David Wilson, Royal County Down; Karen Hope, NITB; Howard Hastings, Hastings Hotels; Wilma Erskine, Royal Portrush; and Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland, at the PGA Golf Merchandise Show in Orlando.

Further media information: 
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer
Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260  
Mob:  07766 527719

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• In 2011, 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £368 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is, which is rolling out in 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.


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