VISITENGLAND BACKS GTE IN APPROACH TO ENCOURAGE INBOUND TOURISM THROUGH LOCAL COLLABORATION
May 07 2015
National tourism body VisitEngland has praised the early work being done by Golf Tourism England (GTE) in its efforts to galvanise golfing venues at a local level to work together in order to attract more visitors.
While historically viewing others in the immediate vicinity as direct competition for green fees and memberships, GTE has endeavoured to highlight the benefits of a closer and more collaborative relationship between neighbouring clubs in many regions.
This strategy has led to the successful creation of ‘Clusters’ across the country, such as the Pennines Golf Trail, Suffolk Coastal Golf, The Dorset Heathland Tour and Southern Counties Heathland Tour (for a full listing of clusters/tours created by Golf Tourism England, visit www.golftourismengland.com/tours).
Combined with building links with local accommodation providers, this has allowed golf clubs which have often operated in isolation, to draw on the collective strength of what each region has to offer the travelling golfer, thus making the proposition of visiting a more attractive one.
James Berresford, VisitEngland Chief Executive, spoke highly of the efforts of GTE in encouraging these closer working relationships. He said: “As a supporter of GTE, it is very pleasing to see that they are gaining the backing of the golf industry by strengthening bonds between clubs at a local and regional level, creating a more attractive product for travelling golfers.
“While some areas may lack an Open Championship host or tour-ready layout, through a combined effort to come together as a ‘Cluster’ or golf tour, there is real potential to create golf destinations that offer the very best that England has to offer as one of the world’s longest-established and most diverse golfing nations.”
These comments were echoed by David Joy, Chief Executive of England Golf, the national governing body for amateur golf, which has the remit of addressing the issues facing the nation’s golf clubs in terms of declining memberships.
He commented: “Our relationship with GTE is one of partnership, which complements the England Golf strategic plan, ‘Raising the Game’. This puts England Golf at the heart of a network of partners, each operating to the benefit of the game and I am delighted that Golf Tourism England is encouraging many of our great golf clubs to adopt a similarly collaborative approach.”
Providing the most attractive proposition for international and local golfers, Joy also went on to explain, is one of the most effective ways for clubs to generate new revenue streams through increased inbound tourism.
Delighted to see many traditional private members clubs embrace a forward-thinking and innovative approach, as set out in the GTE strategy, Chief Executive and founder, Andrew Cooke, added: “We are now seeing clubs begin to lay the foundations for growth in golf tourism in England for the next 5-10 years.
“If we take the Dorset Heathland Tour for example, which includes incredible courses like Parkstone, Ferndown, Broadstone and Remedy Oaks, we get an impression of the depth of quality and variety that golf in England can offer. It is examples like this that should make people realise just how popular England could become as a golf destination.”
To find out more about Golf Tourism England, visit www.golftourismengland.com.
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