Golf tourism is bouncing back from the economic downturn, a new survey by KPMG has revealed.
According to the Golf Travel Insights report, 60% of golf tour operators experienced an increase in the number of holidays booked in 2011, compared to 38% in 2010. Similarly, just 12% of tour operators reported a drop in bookings in 2011 compared to 54% the year before.
The survey, which included the feedback of 90 golf tour operators in 35 countries, found that Spain,Portugal and the UK remained the most popular destinations, but Asia destinations such as Thailand and Vietnam are emerging as popular destinations.
While Spain and Portugal saw an average price drop of 10-20% for golf holiday packages in 2011, destinations in Southeast Asia increased prices by 30-50%.
Golfers from the North America, the UK, Scandinavia and Germany remain the biggest golf travellers. KPMG also found that golfers spend significantly more on a holiday than regular leisure tourists, typically EUR600-900 (£490-£736) on a four- to seven-night golf break. More than a third of these breaks (35%) are group bookings of 8-12 people.
“Our survey shows there is price sensitivity in the market and the popular destinations of Spain and Portugal have had to reduce their prices to maintain competitiveness,” said Andrea Satori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice. “The quality of the golf courses is the most important factor for a consumer when choosing a destination, but the package price is now almost equally important”.
“The outlook among golf tour operators is generally positive, with nearly three-quarters of those surveyed anticipating growth in the coming year,” he added.