Fáilte Ireland was in Belfast recently to showcase Irish courses to golfers from Northern Ireland, in a bid to grow visitor numbers from the North.
Golf tourism is a hugely lucrative sector for Ireland and, as a key driver of visitors from Northern Ireland, has been identified by Fáilte Ireland as a priority target as it helps prepare businesses for the impact of Brexit.
As part of this work, Fáilte Ireland held its annual Golf Ireland event, which attracted over 40 exhibitors from golf courses throughout Ireland. More than 420 golfing enthuasists from Northern Ireland attended on the night.
Annually more than 200,000 overseas visitors play golf in Ireland, which contributes almost €270m to the economy and accounts for over 1.7m bed nights.
Paul Mockler, Head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland, said: “Golf plays a significant role in Irish tourism. Golf visitors typically spend three times more than the average tourist, with most of their spend going directly into local economies. More than that, the spread of golf courses around the country offers a significant opportunity to boost visitor numbers and drive tourism growth outside of the better-known tourist hot spots.
“At Fáilte Ireland, we also see golf as an important component in our strategy to grow and retain the Northern Irish market in the face of Brexit. The Northern Ireland market is of particular importance to the Irish golf industry - not just for the border counties, but right across the country and that is reflected in the number of clubs who have partnered with Fáilte Ireland on our Golf Ireland Promotion Night.”
Martin Donnelly, Business Development Manager with Fáilte Ireland, added: “We believe the quality of our golfing product and the amazing value we can offer Northern Irish consumers can help us in promoting activity from the north.”