Golf tourists increasingly price sensitive
Hotelier Middle East Staff
May 2nd, 2012
A report by KPMG, Golf Travel Insights 2012, has revealed that golf tourists are becoming increasingly price sensitive.
While the quality of the course was still the key factor when choosing a golfing holiday destination, the price of the package was right behind it, closely followed by the accessibility of the destination due to the costs associated with travel.
The report also highlighted the importance of golf tourists for a destination.
“Golf tourists purchase many different goods and services while on their trip, supporting a wide range of businesses such as hotels, restaurants, retailers and, of course, golf facilities themselves through the purchase of green fees, golf equipment and cart rental,” it read.
“IAGTO1 has reported that the daily spend of golfers in the destination itself is frequently at least double that of the general leisure tourist (in Spain the spend is 120% more per person per day).”
While golf tourism demand still lags behind the volume of pre-crisis years, the report noted that the number of golf tourists was on the increase in 2011 and there were several emerging golf destinations in the market.
Spain and Portugal once again topped the most popular destination list with the UK and Ireland, and the US not far behind.
Middle East destinations failed to make an appearance on the top 10 destinations list. Worryingly for the region, the report asserted that North African destinations (including Egypt, Tunisia and to some extent Morocco) “were hit hard in 2011 by the Arabic uprising in terms of inbound golf tourism”.
“On the other hand, golf markets of Mediterranean Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Turkey) could benefit slightly from the Arabic unrest by taking over some of the golf tourism demand,” it added.
Similarly to last year, more than two-thirds of the surveyed tour operators expect a slight growth in golf tourism in the short to medium term, and about a fifth expects stagnation. While 9% are pessimistic and predict a decrease, 4% foresee spectacular growth. Whether tour operators have positive expectations about the future of their business also depends on which destinations they focus on.
“According to IAGTO, golf tourism bounced back quicker than most other tourism sectors and has recovered strongly over the past four years, but is less consistent and predictable than in pre-crisis times,” the report surmised.
“Destinations that have a strong product mix, deliver great value for money and harness the power of golf tour operators whilst implementing clear and informative promotional strategies can without doubt prosper in the coming years.”