Date: September 17, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Report points to Asian influence

boom in golf in Asia presents both opportunities and dangers for golfing tourism in Australia, according to a detailed report released this week.

The report, entitled ‘The Value of Golf Tourism To Australia’, was commissioned by the Australian Golf Industry Council, and points to an big growth in golf tourism around the world, particularly in Asia.

The report’s key findings, drawn from a survey of golfers conducted in 2013, include:

  • ·       There were 1.575 million golf trips taken in Australia in 2013, generating 8.4 million golf visitor nights.
  • ·       The average spend by core domestic golf tourists on a per-night basis was $301, who stay an average 5.3 nights.
  • ·       The Murray River and the Golf Coast retain their position as the most frequently-visited golf regions by the core golf tourist in Australia. Northern Tasmania had the highest gain in this category.
  • ·       There were 174,000 international tourists who played golf when visiting Australia in 2013, representing 3.2 percent of all international visitors.
  • ·       Asia is the leading international destination for Australia’s core golf tourists, accounting for 34 percent of all international golf trips.

The key portion of the report comes in its findings on Asia. “The emergence of the Asian middle class is leading to increased demand for golf holidays as golfers are proving to be valuable consumers for any country, region or facility,’’ it says.

It goes on: “From a broader perspective, the rise of golf in Asia presents both an opportunity and a threat for Australia’s golf tourism economy. The opportunity lies in being able to market our world class courses to a growing customer base who have an increasing capacity and propensity for leisure travel. Conversely, increased consumer choice provided by golf facility development in Asia is a threat, in not only competing for the Asian consumer but through providing Australian golf tourists with more travel options.’’

The report suggests that golf tourism worldwide is worth $25 million, and the figure is growing. It also points out that many countries are developing specific golf tourism strategies to target the market.

“Travel activity around golf is a driver of domestic and international tourism in Australia. Australia is recognised as a mature golf market that has a wide array of golf courses available for play. AT the very top end it has sent golf courses that are ranked in the world’s top 100 courses by the USA golf publication Golf magazine, with Australia being the fourth-most represented country behind the USA, Scotland and England.”

Golf Australia chief executive and AGIC chairman Stephen Pitt welcomed the findings of the report. “We see an enormous untapped potention in golf tourism in this country, particularly given the array of wonderful courses and destinations here. This report gives us a strong foundation to partner with government to formulate a strategy that benefits the whole country.’’

Download full report