THE north-east of Scotland is primed to attract visitors from across the world as part of a new focus on promoting the region as a golf destination to a global audience.
Golf Aberdeen City and Shire, the regional golf development group for the area, was formally launched this week.
The destination marketing organisation is part of a network established in Scotland to build on the country’s reputation as the Home of Golf.
It is supported by VisitAberdeen, Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeenshire Council, the Visit Scotland Growth Fund and partners from the golf and tourism sector.
Peter Medley, chair of Golf Aberdeen City and Shire, said: “This week marks our official launch but we have been busy in recent months laying the foundations for what is a very exciting project.
“As part of that we took part in the Visit Scotland Expo earlier this year and the response to that was very encouraging.
“What the expo underlined is that the interest in the north-east as a destination for golfers is truly global, with China a very strong emerging market and one of several we are committed to developing.
“Closer to home, Germany and Scandinavia are other prominent opportunities and we also cannot underestimate the attraction our courses hold to visitors from other parts of Britain.”
Golf Aberdeen City and Shire is targeting an increase in annual spending generated by visitors to the region from £20million to £50m by 2020.
Project manager, Hector Emslie, added: “Golf tourism is already incredibly valuable to the economy of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Golf Aberdeen City and Shire has a remit to use that existing interest as a platform and to reach new audiences with what is a very positive story.
“There is a fantastic golf heritage throughout the north-east, both in terms of the wonderful historic courses in the area and in the many talented players the region has produced.
“As an organisation, we are proud of the past and enthusiastic about the future – with a number of superb new courses in recent years adding to the attraction.”
Paul Lawrie, Open champion and Ryder Cup winner, is among the prominent Aberdonians supporting the new initiative.
The European Tour star said: “As a native of the north-east of Scotland, I admit to being biased – but I truly believe that we have some of the world’s finest and most memorable golf courses which, played once, just have to be played again and again.”
Golf Aberdeen City and Shire has been initially established as a two-year project with the potential for that period to be extended following the evaluation of the initiative’s impact.
The organisation will promote the region at home and abroad, with participation in tourism events in England, Germany and the USA scheduled this year as part of the strategy.
Further information is available at www.golfaberdeen.com.
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Contact: Paul Smith