VisitAberdeenshire will be the headline sponsor at this week’s (10 to 13 August) Northern Ireland Open.
The chief tourism organisation for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will market the region to an international audience, in a bid to grow the £20 million the sector brings to Aberdeenshire each year.
The four-day tournament which takes place at Galgorm Castle, Ballymena, attracts over 39,000 spectators, and is televised to a global audience of 170 million people. The Northern Ireland Open is part of the European Challenge Tour, and is regarded as one of the top tournaments in the world of golf.
Jenni Fraser, business development director of VisitAberdeenshire says, “The Northern Ireland Open has a particularly strong reach in a number of our key markets including Germany, Netherlands, and the UK. The golf industry is worth over £220 million a year to Scotland, and we already account for over 10% of that amount thanks to the quality of our 55 golf courses located throughout the North-east, but we believe it is possible to further grow this market. To grow this sector we need to showcase the region as a whole, not just our golf courses. We’re seeing a change in how people enjoy golf breaks, in the past visitors would try and play as many courses as they could during their stay. Now research is telling us that golf visitors want to experience other local attractions, and that means the wider region will stand to benefit by growing this lifestyle market, increasing hotel bed nights, visits to restaurants, shops and other local attractions.
“We need to continue to attract new visitors and develop partnerships to allow us to further grow this market, and that is our main aim this week. thanks largely to the close proximity and excellent daily flight routes, it makes Aberdeen an ideal place for a long weekend away.”
VisitAberdeenshire’s sponsorship of the Northern Ireland Open is part of the ongoing development of the region’s golf product. Earlier this year VisitAberdeenshire hosted a golf industry development conference attended by 40 local industry specialist including golf courses, accommodation owners and other tourism service organisations.