Bringing Scottish Golf Tourism Week to Inverness will be worth £3 million to the Highlands and help position the region as a must-stop golf destination.
The prestigious event, which will be held in the Highland capital for the first time from March 19-21 2024, was officially launched in the city’s Kingsmills Hotel.
The area is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of hosting Scotland’s biggest golf industry conference and the long-term economic benefits it will bring.
The event, created with VisitScotland in partnership with the Press and Journal, will give Scottish suppliers an unrivalled opportunity to meet with tour operators from around the world.
Place, business and community
Craig Walker, the editor of The Press and Journal, said it is a privilege to be involved in the launch in the P&J’s 275th year.
He said he feels strongly about the need to support and be part of the acclaimed conference.
“For me this is about showcasing everything Inverness and the surrounding area has to offer.
“It’s an opportunity to position the Highlands as a must-stop golfing destination and an opportunity for us at the P&J to highlight and support local businesses.
“This event is about place, about business, but also about community and every aspect of that is what the Press and Journal is about as well.
“We really hope that bringing hundreds of tourism specialists here will benefit hotels and other businesses that week but also for many years to come.”
Andy Williams is chief revenue officer at DC Thomson. He said moving Scottish Golf Tourism Week from St Andrews, where it has been held for the last six years, marks a crucial development for the event.
He said with the average supplier reporting tourism revenue increased by more than £215,000 over the three years after the event, the move to Inverness will ensure city and regional businesses will benefit.
“Not only from the influx of visitors during the week itself, but for years after, as tour operators return home inspired and delighted and ready to sell the Scottish Highlands to their golfing clients.”
Event will change businesses across the Highlands
Golf tour operators from more than 30 countries travel to meet with Scottish businesses at the three-day event, which includes the Scottish Golf Tourism Awards.
More than 100 Scottish golf businesses and 90 international tour operators take part and they attract an estimated 50,000 golf tourists into Scotland each year.
Jo de Silva, chair of Visit Inverness Loch Ness, said she is “incredibly excited” about Scottish Golf Tourism Week which she expects to be worth around £3 million for local businesses.
“To have an event like this at a time when businesses are crawling out of what has been a horrendous few years is something that will change businesses across the Highlands.”
She added: “We know the Highlands is an incredibly special place; the people, the places, the history, the culture.
“We also have some of the most warm, welcoming fantastic people and some amazing businesses here.
“To be able to showcase that to the world of golf is going to be an incredible thing for this area.”
‘We recognise the opportunity we’ve got’
Tony Story, CEO of the Kingsmills Group, said the golf market is significant and the event will be particularly welcome during tourism’s shoulder months.
“We all know we are looking for off-season opportunities, it’s the big thing we need to do to make our industry more economically sustainable.
“The opportunity of having something of this magnitude in March is quite amazing.”
Mr Story thanked DC Thomson and partners for bringing the event to Inverness.
“It’s a magnificent move for all of us. We are hugely excited.
“We recognise the opportunity that we’ve got. This kind of conference will enable us to show we can do it.
“We have to make it the best event there’s ever been in terms of Scottish golf tourism and we won’t let you down.”
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