Jul 212016

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

Copyright: Newsline Scotland

Steve Harris, Chief Executive, VisitAberdeenshire.

VisitAberdeenshire has become an official sponsor of the Northern Ireland Open which will take place from 28 – 31 July at Galgorm Castle in Ballymena. The organisation, which is responsible for the marketing of the area to both leisure and business visitors, will have promotional material around the tournament course as well as an information stand.

Golf remains a key driver for tourism to the north east of Scotland and with a course for every week of the year Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire can deliver a quality golf product for both leisure visitors and corporate groups.

Steve Harris (pictured), chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire says,

“Flight time from Belfast to Aberdeen with FlyBe is just over an hour, making us an appealing destination for golfers of all abilities from Northern Ireland. We have high profile courses like Trump International, Cruden Bay, Royal Aberdeen and Newmachar, but we also have Britain’s highest 18 hole course at Braemar, Fraserburgh where play is documented as early as 1613 and Paul Lawrie’s Golf Centre on the banks of the River Dee.

We have eminent courses which serious golfers long to play, challenging links courses, scenic inland courses and friendly nine hole courses. We’re taking the opportunity to show golf fans who attend the Northern Ireland Open just what a wealth of golfing treasures our area has to offer them and just how accessible we are from Belfast.”

Research commissioned by the Scottish Golf Tourism and VisitScotland shows that Scotland is third on a global list of hot spots for golf tourism (#1 Spain, #2 Portugal, #5 Ireland, #9 England). It is estimated that golfers spend is 120% more than that of other visitors. Golf tourism is a major contributor to Scotland’s economy and is estimated to be worth close to £220million annually.

Steve Harris continues,

“A report published in 2013 showed that there is potential to boost visitor spend from golf in the north east of Scotland from £20 million to over £50 million by 2020. Our sponsorship of the Northern Ireland Open is part of the region wide drive to reach this goal.

“Golf’s popularity seems to be growing exponentially – we’re having a true summer of golf with the recent Scottish Open in the Highlands and The Open in Troon and the Scottish Ladies Open at Dundonald. This interest is also set to grow with the inclusion of golf in the Rio Olympics after a break of 112 years.”

Alain de Soultrait, Director of the Challenge Tour, said:

The Tayto Northern Ireland Open in Partnership with Ulster Bank is one of the most popular tournaments on the European Challenge Tour schedule, with Galgorm Castle Golf Club providing a fantastic setting, excellent local support and a superb venue to make this a really big week for the Challenge Tour players.

“We are pleased VisitAberdeenshire are also supporting the event so soon after our own successful visit to Scotland for the SSE Hydro Scottish Challenge, a week which showed once again how strong the link between Scotland and golf truly is.”

More about golfing in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire can be found at www.visitabdn.com/attractions-and-activities/golf.

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