The study, which also revealed Spain as the No.1 travel destination for visitors from the UK, France, Germany and Scandinavia, also highlighted European golf tourism to be worth €1.55 billion per year.
The findings form part of a research document entitled ‘European Spotlight on Golf Tourism to Spain’, which was commissioned by Reed Travel Exhibitions, organisers of IGTM, and produced by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.
Richard Payne, Senior Manager at SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. said: “The importance of golf tourism to Spain and the wider European economy is abundantly clear with these findings. It also highlights why events such as IGTM are vital in unlocking future international growth in the global golf travel market to keep pace with this strong demand.”
Research also showed that of the 28.5% of European golfers who visited Spain to play golf in 2012, 12.7% went to the Costa del Sol, 3.9% went to the Costa Brava region, 3.2% visited the Canary Islands and 8.7% went to other areas.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, said: “These top-line findings underpin the scale of the golf tourism industry in Europe, and how it represents an important 10% of the total economic impact of golf on the economy of Europe, which stands at €15.12 billion per annum.”
The research, presented to delegates at this year’s IGTM, also revealed the popularity of other destinations with 17% of golf travellers in 2012 visiting Portugal, 16.1% heading for Great Britain & Ireland, 7.5% booking trips to Turkey, 7.1% visiting France and 6.9% booking long-haul golf trips to the USA.
“IGTM is the place for the international golf tourism industry to do business, but it also offers the perfect platform to share positive messages, such as this, to businesses operating in the European golf travel sector. What these figures prove is that Spain, and the wider European golf tourism market is healthy, attractive and an important revenue generator in the economies of many countries across the region,” added Peter Grimster.
As host to IGTM 2013, the Catalan region of Costa Daurada is also rapidly growing its reputation as a golf destination. Three years ago, less than 2% of total rounds played on the Costa Daurada were by international golfers. Today, that ratio has increased to 30% and continues to grow.