Tee-ing up USA golf business

A DELEGATION of Scottish golf businesses has attended one of the world’s largest golf trade shows in America

The mission was spearheaded by Golf Tourism Scotland (GTS) and officials said later the feedback has been “positive” and could generate “thousands of pounds worth of business” for the sector.

Award-winning Meldrum House was among the representatives who took part in the visit.

With an impressive stand design featuring the Scotland The Home of Golf branding, Scotland’s representatives at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, enjoyed a successful three days promoting the country’s golf, offering and attracting more golfing visitors from the USA.

Speaking at the event, GTS chairman Lee Derrick said: “The PGA Show is one of the main golf industry events of the year and an important showcase for Scottish golf tourism businesses.

“This year we took more stand space than ever before and created a presence that truly reflected the quality of Scotland’s golf offering.

“The feedback from our stand partners has been positive and this week could generate thousands of pounds’ worth of business for the sector.”

GTS was joined by 11 partner organisations representing a broad spectrum of Scotland ’s golf industry, including resorts, tour operators, hotels and industry groups. The consortium was the largest ever assembled to represent Scotland at the annual PGA Show.

Mr Derrick added: “The commitment shown by everyone who attended has been very impressive and gives us a real platform to build on.

“As a starting point for an exciting and busy year for Scottish golf, we could not have asked for anything more.”

As well as manning the prominent exhibition stand, delegates also attended a Scottish golf day prior to the show which attracted around 70 leading industry figures and golf journalists.

The Scottish contingent included Andy Burgess, head of operations and development at Meldrum House, who picked up the 2011 GTS Gold Standard award for Hotel of the Year (country house hotel category).

Mr Burgess said: “The PGA show is where a lot of decisions are made concerning the golf travel industry, so being there is an absolute must.

“Partnering with so many other businesses meant we could boost Scotland ’s presence and get our message across to more buyers. It was simply great to be there.”

Since its creation in 2005 Golf Tourism Scotland has been building both its membership levels and public profile with the aim of raising Scotland’s golf tourism game in areas of product development and marketing and other generic tourism areas such as travel, training and research and monitoring.

Golf tourism is continually faced with shifting markets and evolving products and GTS believe that what is needed to achieve greater market share is a pro-active membership that will innovate, work together, comment, and participate in ways that will take golf tourism in Scotland to a new level.

Last year saw a raft of new initiatives. The SGU assumed the lead role in the One Plan for Golf project; EventScotland hosted a series of cross industry meetings; VisitScotland reviewed their golf marketing and Scottish Enterprise went through a significant review of their business development support and delivery.

For more information on GTS visit www.golftourismscotland.com. To join GTS visit www.golftourismscotland.com/Membership + Fees.