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Women and golf tourism


The aim of the research was to gather information to enable Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International to: understand international trends in female golf participation and allow them to evaluate potential areas of opportunity in Scotland for both ladies only and mixed groups; be in a position to inform and encourage wider strategic partners, Scottish clubs and associated tourism businesses to appeal and cater to a potential female golfers market; and understand the routes to market, i.e. how to reach female golfers, including the potential to encourage domestic and international golf tour operators to promote both mixed and women only product offerings.


The methodology consisted of a review of existing research and telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and emails with tour operators, golf clubs and collaborative marketing groups.


The report indicates that due to growing participation rates and absolute numbers of women golfers, female golf tourists represent a large potential market for Scotland, which is currently largely untapped. It is suggested that Scotland is well equipped in principle to appeal and cater to female golfers, however this may not always be clearly demonstrated at present. High growth participation rates in the professional game were found among women in Asia, however it was also found that this is not currently being converted into major inbound tourism to Scotland from these areas, with women and couples preferring to visit destinations within a 3-4 hour travel time. Spain is highlighted as Scotland’s major short haul competitor for female golfers from northern Europe, with competition coming from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Guam and the Middle East for Asia-Pacific golfers, and from Ireland, the US, the Caribbean, Mexico and south east Asia for US golfers. The report identifies a number of challenges for Scotland’s female golf tourism, particularly the tendency for women with families to limit the distance they are willing to travel, and the amount they are willing to spend, when planning golf holidays.


The report makes a series of recommendations for boosting the Scottish female golf tourism industry, including: in the short-term, the priority focus should be on countries which combine relatively high numbers of women golfers, a propensity to visit Scotland and a visitor demographic which mirrors that of their female golfer populations, i.e. Germany, the Netherlands, France, Scandinavia and north America; Scottish clubs should be encouraged to present the attractions of their golf product in the same way as many northern Europeans view the appeal of golf - as a game that allows couples, families and participants of varying abilities to play together in a relaxed and enjoyable manner; Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International should consider working with the industry/private sector to ascertain potential for informal amateur tournaments; and maximum use should be made of the women-focused online golf media, portals and bloggers in addition to a published golf magazine targeting women.

Author The Laurel Group Ltd
Published Year 2014
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Sectors