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07 Feb 2012

Golf to the ‘fore’ in Florida

Twenty-four golf and tourism operators from around the island of Ireland travelled to Orlando recently, to join Tourism Ireland at the 2012 PGA Golf Merchandise Show. One of the biggest golf exhibitions in the US, this year’s PGA Show attracted over 40,000 golf professionals and enthusiasts, as well as around 1,000 influential golf media.

Following Tourism Ireland’s ‘Home of Champions’ campaign in 2011, Tourism Ireland will undertake another busy promotional programme throughout 2012, to boost the number of golf visitors from the US. Events like the Irish Open in Portrush will be used as a ‘hook’ to draw attention to our world-class golf. Tourism Ireland is urging American golf fans to come and attend the Irish Open – and to extend their visit and try out some of our fantastic courses for themselves.

Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “The US golf market remains a priority for Tourism Ireland in 2012. We will undertake a busy golf promotional programme this year, which includes capitalising on the success of our major golf champions as ambassadors for the island of 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 Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of Ireland’s world-class golf and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting American golfers to come here.”

During the two-day show in Orlando, Tourism Ireland hosted a ‘Home of Champions’ reception, promoting our world-class golf and celebrating the outstanding success of our golfers. The event was attended by PGA pros and influential golf travel media – providing an excellent opportunity for the Irish golf and tourism operators to network and do business with these influential decision-makers from around the United States. Also present on the Tourism Ireland stand at this year’s PGA Show was Mark Murphy – winner of the popular American golf reality TV show ‘Big Break Ireland’, which was filmed in the K Club and which aired on the Golf Channel late last year to an estimated 83 million households across the US.