Wednesday 17 February 2010

Open Championship Loss to Scotland

With the news that The Open will be out of Scotland for a gap of four years because of The Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, The Scotsman's comments section had some numpty from Flakirk just simply saying "Aw. Diddums!"

Aw Diddums? Perhaps not unsuitable but certainly reflective of a lack of undestanding of the impact of this on Scottish tourism and revenues.

Zero it in yet further and look at it from an Ayrshire tourism perspective and it becomes a highly significant factor in tourism investment in the years to come. From having two Open championships a decade to having a gap of at least seven, perhaps more is of major concern to an area that is already suffering. It was always likely that Troon wouldn't get The Open Championship because of the combined effects of the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup but it was never (publicly) factored into the economic benefits of hosting them.

The idea that The Ryder Cup is now to be seen as a replacement for an Open Championship that would have been held here certainly removes some of the economic benefits for the country as a whole.

It may not seem such a big deal to aw diddums from Falkirk but with an Open contibuting anything between £10 and £15 million to the local economy and perhaps double that figure for Scotland as a whole. That excludes the television exposure and column inches generated worldwide. A single Open Championship in Ayrshire could eclipse ten years of Homecoming Scotland events.

"Aw diddums" seems a slightly strange reaction to such an economic impact...

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