Golfers on holiday are the big spenders of tourism, laying out 120 percent more per day at their destination than general leisure tourists, according to a TravelDailyNews report.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup stimulated an interest in sports tourism in South Africa, where more than 10 percent of foreign tourists visiting the country watch or participate in sport events, according to TravelDailyNews. Of those visitors, 60 percent-to-80 percent are spectators.
“Golf is not an amenity or an excursion but a primary driver of incremental tourism,” said Peter Walton, President of the Global Golf Tourism Organization.
There are 54 million golfers worldwide and 25 percent will definitely take golf holidays in the next 12 months, Walton said.
South Africa’s golf industry generates 29.2 billion rand ($2.24 billion) and creates over 50,000 jobs, according to golf tourism statistics from the Sports Marketing Surveys of South Africa. Overall, the industry is estimated to be worth 58.4 billion rand ($4.48 billion), TravelDailyNews reports.
Experts on the business of golf will join African tourism stakeholders to talk about optimizing golf tourism at the upcoming Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, scheduled for Oct. 27-29 in Tshwane, South Africa. The theme of the event is the future of golf tourism. Golf experts from around the world will speak at the event.
Moderating the session on “Commercial Viability of Golf Estates” is Eddie Bullock. A golf management consultant who specializes in golf facility management, Bullock speaks throughout Europe on the future of golf club operations. He was ranked in the 2012 top 40 most powerful people in British Golf.
Africa’s many golf estates attract foreign investment.
“While change can be good, it is often met with skepticism, apprehension, and fear, Bullock said. “Having the right information available to your club can mean all the difference between the success and failure of a project”
Other speakers include Douglas Michele Turco, senior research associate with Sport Business School, Finland; Gillian Saunders, partner and head of advisory services at Grant Thornton; and John Nauright, a professor of sport and leisure management at the University of Brighton, U.K.
The annual Sports and Events Tourism Exchange is the only event of its kind in Africa and provides a platform that brings together businesses from the sports, events and tourism industries, and encourages collaboration between these sectors.
“Golf tourism is an important segment of the overall tourist market, both in terms of volume and spend-per-visitor, because it can drive substantial investment into resort developments,” said South African Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa.
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