€300m reasons to back golf tourism

As the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open teed off at the weekend, Fáilte Ireland used its sponsorship of the event to highlight the importance of golf tourism to the national economy and showcased Ireland as a world-class golfing destination.

According to Fáilte Ireland pre-Covid-19 golf tourism was hugely lucrative for Ireland, generating €300m in revenue and accounting for 1.6m bed nights.

According to Fáilte Ireland a golf visitor typically spends three times more than the average leisure tourist with most of the spend going directly into local economies on non-golf expenditure such as accommodation, transport and food and beverage.

“Ireland is world-renowned for our high-quality golf courses and the fact that in pre-Covid times we welcomed over 200,000 golf tourists each year is testament to this”

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is one of 15 test events proceeding with spectators as agreed by the Government.

 “Golf has always played a significant role in Irish tourism and it is important that we do all we can to ensure Ireland’s identity as a world class golf destination is maintained through these challenging times,” said Paul Mockler, head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland.

“Hosting a global event such as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, gives Ireland an opportunity to do that.

“Ireland is world-renowned for our high-quality golf courses and the fact that in pre-Covid times we welcomed over 200,000 golf tourists each year is testament to this. Vitally, the spread of golf courses around the country offers a significant opportunity to drive tourism growth to all regions of Ireland and supports an extension of the tourism season – key focus areas of our work at Fáilte Ireland as we prepare for recovery,” Mockler said.

Reopening via the Irish Open

At the weekend spectators returned to the island of Ireland’s national open for the first time since 2019, while a global TV audience of up to 350m watched the event on over 30 global broadcast channels.

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open returned to The Mount Juliet Estate in Ireland’s Ancient East for the fourth time and players Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell competed.

At the weekend Australia’s Lucas Herbert secured his second European Tour title with a wire-to-wire victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Herbert took a one-shot lead into the final round at Mount Juliet and carded a closing 68 to finish on 19 under par, three shots clear of Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg.

“Hosting sporting events such as the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is hugely important for Irish tourism as it creates a legacy that will be a draw for visitors for years to come and gives us the opportunity to showcase our country to an international audience,” said Brian O’Flynn, head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland.

“Although in-person spectators at this year’s Irish Open will be in smaller numbers than previous years, the event will be broadcast to over 350m homes worldwide. Viewers will be given a taste of just how spectacular Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny and Ireland’s Ancient East are, and this will inspire future international leisure and golf trips when it is safe to do so.”

Interview with Dubai Duty Free’s Colm McLoughlin (video)

 

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 5 July 2021