New evidence reveals commercial gains from tournament hosting

By Emily Kay 3 years ago

Hosting a European Tour event gives a venue benefits that go far beyond the exposure from real-time television coverage, according to new analysis.

The TV numbers are impressive: more than 35 broadcasters show tournaments, reaching 678 million households in 167 countries. However, a venue can also enjoy increased sales and leads long after the event has finished, as well as the reputational boost gained from hosting the world’s top golfers.

The increasing popularity of professional tournaments will be a key driver of golf tourism in the next few years, according to – evidence supported by IAGTO’s findings that show eight out of the 10 fastest growing golf tourism destinations host European Tour events.

Diamond Country Club, host of the 2021 Austrian Golf Open on the European Tour

Ian Knox, Head of European Tour Destinations, a network of 30 world class golf venues, said: “We often get asked if tournaments generate a return on investment and if having their course showcased on TV with top international players can actually deliver more golf sales, more tourism or more real estate leads to venues.

“Recent analysis by the European Tour captured in our Tournaments that count feature has revealed that hosting a tournament could generate a direct economic impact of $7.5 million to local businesses. It also found that 27% of European golfers are more likely to visit a destination if it has hosted a European Tour event, rising to 52% for under-45s.”

Ben Cowen, Chief Tournament Business Officer at the European Tour, added: “The huge amount of television exposure a venue will receive puts it on a platform that it will struggle to achieve in any other way.

“Reputation pays. And all the more so when tournaments return to the same venue. Regular tournament hosting, as part of a long-term strategy to attract golf tourists, can benefit venues in that not only do visitors typically stay longer and spend more but the venues themselves are also able to charge and sustain a premium for membership, green fees, golf breaks and real estate.”

Paul Casey, winner of the 2021 Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club

Prime examples of such a legacy and a strong association with a particular event on the European Tour, outlined in the Tournaments that count feature, are Emirates Golf Club, which has hosted the Dubai Desert Classic since 1989, and Diamond Country Club in Austria, which has held 11 European Tour events since 2010.

“As the global travel market opens up and golfers look to book their next golf breaks, businesses should pursue strategies that leverage all forthcoming growth opportunities.

“With rising government support for the promotion of golf tourism, there is no better time for businesses to ensure they are front-of-mind and create and capture this growing demand for golf travel,” concluded Knox.

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