Fáilte Ireland held the 6th annual Golf Ireland Convention in association with IAGTO this week (15th & 16th September) to support Irish golf tourism businesses and provide opportunities for the future of Golf tourism.
This year saw a bit of a difference, however, as the convention was held entirely online.
This virtual conference is one of many supports being provided by Fáilte Ireland to help keep Ireland’s golf tourism offering front of mind with some of the highest producing golf tour operators across the world.
104 Golf Tour Operators from 32 countries including the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia took part in over 2,000 one-to-one meetings with 111 Irish golf tourism businesses over the course of the two days.
Kicking off the event, attendees were welcomed with a few words from the 2020 European Ryder Cup Captain and three-time major champion, Padraig Harrington, who emphasised the importance of Golf tourism to the Irish economy.
Pre Covid-19, Golf tourism was a hugely lucrative sector for Ireland. Annually more than 200,000 overseas visitors played golf which contributed almost €270 million to the Irish economy and accounted for over 1.7 million bed nights.
Martin Donnelly of Fáilte Ireland said:
“Golf has always played a significant role in Irish tourism and it is important that we do all we can to support the and ensure Ireland’s identity as a world class golf destination is maintained. This virtual event will support Irish businesses to establish and maintain important relationships with some of the world’s top golf tour operators so that when it is safe to travel once again our premier golf courses, accommodation and experiences are front of mind.”
Peter Walton Chief Executive of IAGTO:
“Ireland is one of the most important golf destinations worldwide, and with good reason. Of our 720 international golf tour operators, some 358 in 46 countries feature, promote and sell golf vacations to the country every year. The 6th Golf Ireland Convention, this year virtual by necessity, is incredibly important for our golf tour operator members and for the Irish golf tourism industry, so we are delighted but not surprised that it has attracted a record number of participants. More than anything the scheduling of the first online convention that IAGTO is supporting in the Covid-era will convey to golf tour operators worldwide the importance that Failte Ireland attaches to this high revenue and low impact tourism sector.”