Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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Golf Tourism

Irish Open 2015 Royal County Down

Golf tourism

Northern Ireland is experiencing unprecedented success and status as a golf destination through the triumphs of its champion golfers, its world ranking golf courses and hosting of outstanding events.

Working with international tour operator led organisations, hosting media familiarisation trips, facilitating workshops and attending golf promotions, Tourism NI is promoting the NI golf product to a global market. Tourism NI also have a role in product development, working with golf clubs and associated golf bodies and agencies to ensure the golfing visitor has a quality visitor experience throughout their trip.

Strategic review of golf in Northern Ireland

The Golf Tourism Strategy is designed to support the golf sector in contributing to the wider tourism vision of a £1 billion industry in Northern Ireland by 2020. Golf tourism in Northern Ireland is currently valued at some £33m so in terms of Northern Ireland’s competitiveness – vis a vis other golf destinations – there are real opportunities to further grow golf tourism.
The aims of the Strategy are to:
1. Grow the value of golf visitors to Northern Ireland to £50m p.a. by 2020
2. Develop the capability and capacity of clubs to host visitors
3. Enhance the reputation and visibility of Northern Ireland for golf tourism in designated markets
4. Build Northern Ireland’s capacity to host golf events
5. Support industry leadership and collaboration across the sector

Current status of the strategy
Tourism NI commissioned BTS and the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) to develop a golf strategy for Northern Ireland to 2020. A full consultation with the NI golf industry, alongside three workshops, took place in October and November 2014. 


Northern Ireland Golf Tourism Monitor 2013 and 2014

The Tourism Strategy for Northern Ireland highlighted the opportunity for growing golf tourism nationally and internationally to position Northern Ireland as a premier golf destination. The recent heightened interest and publicity from the successes of Northern Ireland’s three Champion golfers has elevated the destination on the global golf map.   It is vital that this growing demand is converted into an accurate evaluation of current golf business to Northern Ireland.  The Northern Ireland Golf Monitor provides robust data and trend to help formulate and shape future growth of the Northern Ireland golf product.

The survey collects and compiles the volume and value of visiting golfer rounds played on Northern Ireland courses through participation by golf clubs and visitor interviews.   Information is gathered on clubs and facilities, visitors and rounds played, golf holiday trends and expenditure on golf trips.   In-depth consumer interviews are conducted during the tourist season to capture qualitative information on out-of-state golfers who come to play golf in Northern Ireland.

The data collected is analysed and monitored against established benchmarks. The annual report provides statistics for year on year comparisons and trends.   In addition, the data will inform Tourism NI on identifying market opportunities that will help shape Tourism NI’s annual Golf Programme and future plans.

For the 2013 full report and analysis, please click here.