Seven Swedish golf professionals visited Northern Ireland this week, as part of a golf fact-finding mission. Invited here by Tourism Ireland in Scandinavia, the golfing pros had the opportunity to play both courses at Royal Co Down, as well as Ardglass golf course. They also attended a golf workshop – where they met representatives of various local golf clubs – organised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board at the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle, together with leading Swedish golf operator, GolfStore Travel.
The pros are important influencers who organise golf breaks and holidays overseas for their members each year. Caroline Brunel, Tourism Ireland’s manager for the Nordic region, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to showcase some of our wonderful golf courses to these Swedish golf pros. With over 600,000 registered golfers, Sweden is an important market for golf tourism. Our aim is to enthuse the pros about the destination, so that when they return home, they will share their experiences with the members in their clubs – and encourage more Swedish golfers and visitors to holiday in Northern Ireland.
“Tourism Ireland is focused on growing the number of golf tourists to Northern Ireland and has a busy programme of promotional activity in place to highlight our world-class golf. We are 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 courses and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting golfers to come here.”
Golf tourism currently generates over £14 million per year for the local economy, with the average spend per golf visitor coming in at £300-£450, significantly higher than the average visitor spend.