Wednesday 15 September 2010

Global Golf Tourism Recovering

More than half of golf tour operators have experienced an increase in customers booking golf holidays with them in 2010.

In total, 54 per cent of the 120 golf tour operators surveyed said there had been a noticeable increase in demand, while 38 per cent had experienced a decrease.

The figures come from the Golf Travel Insights 2010, published by professional service firm KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice.

While the results are generally positive, 42 per cent of tour operators noted that average expenditure on golf holidays had reduced, indicating lower prices in the market and greater cost consciousness among customers.

The results also indicate the effects of currency exchange fluctuations on demand in certain countries, including the UK where the devaluation of the British pound versus the euro resulted in a drop in outbound tourism, increasing demand for domestic golf travel.

When asked to look ahead, 80 per cent of golf tour operators said they anticipate a clear upswing in demand following the economic crisis, while 20 per cent forecast either stagnation or a decrease.

In the report, KPMG also predicts that established destinations, such as Spain, Portugal, the UK and Ireland will continue to dominate the golf travel market.

Turkey is the fastest emerging new golf travel destination, the survey reveals, with both demand and the number of courses in regions such as Belek continuing to grow.

Southeast Asia, including the countries of Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, are also highlighted as destination with significant potential for golf travel.

Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice, said: "While the economic downturn has clearly had an impact on golf travel, as it has done with the wider travel and tourism market, the indicative results of our survey are positive. "However, it is also clear that golf tour operators, destinations and resorts should understand their customers' needs and behaviour patterns."

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