Golf tourism in New Zealand is thriving with golf visitors up a record 23% alongside an 18% increase in spend by these visitors for the year ending April 2016.
The growth rate is among one of the highest being experienced worldwide.
This week, Golf Tourism New Zealand’s third golf tourism progress report was released to industry providing a summary of activity taken over the past year as part of the International Golf Tourism Strategy.
An impressive $329 million is being pumped into the economy each year from international golf tourism.
Over the last few years there has been significant investment in new and existing courses resulting in New Zealand offering a range of uncrowded internationally ranked courses that are proving very attractive.
Chief Executive of IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) Peter Walton said the growth in golf visitors to New Zealand in the past year is a great example of what can be achieved within a relatively short space of time when a national tourist board invests in golf tourism promotion and, most importantly, is guided by a sustainable golf tourism promotional strategy.
“The results speak for themselves and are testament to Tourism New Zealand’s golf tourism initiative. We are confident that international golf travel to New Zealand will continue to snowball because the destination has clusters of truly spectacular golf courses providing a golf experience that is quite unique to New Zealand and will be much sought after as the word spreads around.”
Walton added “Globally, golf tourism is in a good place with 2016 being the fifth year of consecutive growth and forward bookings for 2017 looking strong, with golf tour operator bookings up 4.8% year on year worldwide and up 5.3% in Asia and Australasia.”
The golf tourism market is extremely valuable. Golfing visitors tend to stay longer and spend more, staying on average 27 days compared with other holiday visitors who stay for an average 16 days.
Golfing visitors are also more likely to do other activities like visiting wineries and local attractions so we promote itineraries that incorporate regional offerings that golfers can easily enjoy in addition to their course rounds.
International golfers are looking for unique courses that offer something different.
New Zealand has around 400 courses and offers incredible variety, from oceanfront subtropical courses in the north to alpine settings in the south. Golfers can easily travel to a range of courses while in New Zealand sampling what each region has to offer on their way and this is a huge draw card.