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Scotland Golf Visitor Survey 2016


The study was to update previous research conducted in 2009 which estimated that golf tourism was worth around £220 million in visitor expenditure. In a further study in 2011, SQW estimated that there was potential to grow golf visitor expenditure to £300 million by 2020. The 2016 research was commissioned to ensure that up to date information was available to inform the implementation of the Scottish Golf Tourism Strategy 2013 - 2020.


In 2016, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise commissioned Progressive Partnership and SQW to conduct a programme of research with golfing visitors to Scotland.


Key findings from the 2016 study are: the economic value of golf tourism and events to Scotland has increased to £286 million per annum supporting 4,700 jobs; this is an increase of 30% (£66M) over the 2009 figures (£220M); almost half of Scotland’s golfing visitors (47%) travel from overseas to play golf in Scotland; of these, the North American market remains key and represents 30% of all overnight golfing visitors with a further 14% coming from European visitors; on average, overnight golfing visitors spend 6.79 nights in Scotland with overseas visitors spending 10.21 nights; overnight visitors spend on average 7.5 days playing golf while they also average 3.85 days participating in other tourism activities, benefiting non-golf tourism businesses and attractions; on average, an overnight golfing visitor will spend £245 per night but this number jumps to £338 for visitors from overseas. North Americans spend approx. £405 per night; the majority of overseas golfing visitors (57%) had been to Scotland before suggesting that for many, a trip playing golf in Scotland is not seen as a once in a lifetime experience; of all overnight visitors, 81% overall agreed their trip was one of the best golfing holidays/short breaks they had ever taken; approximately, 12% of golfing visitors were female with this percentage rising to 18% of European visitors. A regional breakdown of the results is available at


The report does not make any recommendations.

Author VisitScotland; Scottish Enterprise
Published Year 2017
Report Type Research
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