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Golf tourism in Perth and Kinross: an assessment of its growth potential to 2020: final report


The golf tourism sector in Perth and Kinross is set to benefit from new investment in golf resorts over the coming years, as well as the hosting of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014. In light of these forthcoming developments, the research sought to provide an overview of the golf tourism sector in Perth and Kinross and assess its growth potential to 2020. In particular, it aimed to: audit the existing golf tourism sector; assess new golf course development projects and their potential economic impact; benchmark the area's future growth prospects against those of other regional golfing destinations in Scotland; review the local value golf ticket schemes (Perthshire Green Card and Perthshire Highlands Golf Ticket) and the scope to broaden out future project activity; identify opportunities to encourage an industry-led approach to golf tourism; and recommend ways to secure the growth potential of golf tourism in the Perth and Kinross area.


The methodology consisted of: a review of research on golf tourism, such as the Golf Tourism Monitor and other market reports; interviews with key stakeholder organisations, including VisitScotland, the Scottish Golf Union and other golf development groups; a mixture of face-to-face and telephone interviews with local golf tourism businesses (golf clubs, hotels, golf tourism operators, etc); and a presentation of draft research findings to a stakeholder workshop.


Total golf visitor expenditure in Perth and Kinross is estimated to be around £10 million a year and the area receives around eight per cent of Scottish visitor green fees. Perth and Kinross has a higher proportion of day visitors and a lower proportion of staying visitors than most other golfing areas of Scotland, and this limits the overall economic impact of golf tourism at present. The report suggests that the effects of the Ryder Cup, the new courses, and a wider target for tourism growth could grow the value of golf expenditure by 28 per cent, and, over the period 2013 to 2020, would mean an additional expenditure of £17 million. Although some collaboration is already taking place in Perth and Kinross, primarily through the Perthshire Green Card, Perthshire Highland golf ticket and the Perthshire Golf Breaks initiative, the report suggests there is scope to do more in terms of marketing around the Ryder Cup and raising the profile of golf tourism within the region. With a number of other areas developing golf groups, the report suggests there is a risk that Perth and Kinross may miss out on attracting marketing funding, business development support, or grants for online booking.


The report recommends that Perth and Kinross Council and Scottish Enterprise should support the establishment of a Perth and Kinross Golf Development Partnership, a group to bring together golf clubs and courses, accommodation providers and other businesses which are interested in growing golf tourism. The partnership should focus on developing an action and marketing plan for the present until after the Ryder Cup in 2014. Its scope could include: co-ordination and leadership of stakeholders involved in golf tourism; the promotion and marketing of the Ryder Cup in Perth and Kinross; support for the development of co-ordinated online booking systems; strengthening the golfing identity of Perth and Kinross; and providing a link to other businesses to engage with golf and investigate opportunities.

Author SQW
Published Year 2013
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors