Golf boost for North-east economy

McDonald Golf Club, Ellon, 18th green.
McDonald Golf Club, Ellon, 18th green.

Golf tourism could boost the North-east economy to the tune of £30 million by 2020, it has been forecast.

A new body has been established to maximise the area’s potential from the sport.

The public and private partnership – Golf Tourism Alliance – will aim to make Aberdeen City and Shire the first choice golf destination of the future.

It was set up – embracing representatives from Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Partnership (ATP), golf clubs, tour operators, hoteliers and council officials – following a glowing report on the money-spinning benefits from visitor spending in the region over the next few years.

The study, the ‘Future of Golf for Aberdeen City and Shire’, was published earlier this year and highlighted the potential to boost golf tourism spending from £20 million to more than £50 million by 2020.

Elaine Booth, from ATP, said: “We want Aberdeen City and Shire to be seen as the serious golfing destination we know it to be and maximise the growth potential we have to offer.”

“The formation of the alliance will allow the private and public sectors to promote working together on joint business development, with the aim of attracting more golfing visitors to the area.”

The new partnership body will be spearheaded by Hector Emslie, of Golfers Scotland, who has been appointed as golf tourism development executive.

Mr Emslie said: “The North-east offers a magnificent range of value for money courses as well as the best links golf in the world.

“There is an ever-increasing demand for golf from visitors from all over the UK and overseas, so we look forward to offering a range of golf packages, value added breaks and benefits to visiting golfers and club members alike.

“Our aim is to make Aberdeen City and Shire the first choice golf destination of the future.”

During the summer, a report by Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association found that Donald Trump’s championship links course at Menie estate had provided a major economic boost for the area in its first year.