The most exciting and potentially successful year ahead for the golf tourism industry here in Scotland for a lifetime. A year that will bring many memorable moments for those inbound visitors who descend on our beautiful country of Scotland for the first time or having returned wanting to sample the Scottish experience once more. Ryder Cup returning to Gleneagles, Homecoming 2014 and the Commonwealth Games all in a year, supported by a relatively resurgent collective golf tourism industry.
What could possibly go wrong?
Not for one moment is this a pessimistic rant.The ethos of the newly formed Scottish Golf Podcast is wholeheartedly about supporting the successes of the golf tourism industry clearly expressed in our first five episodes. The positive signs are already visible. Having heard from over half a dozen tour operators reporting a sizeable increase in Scottish golf bookings for 2014 and a return to early-bird bookings which is more reassuring for the industry as a whole. A collaborative ethos appears to be forming once more within the Scottish golf industry. Such a mindset is being showcased each month by #scotlandhour, a monthly celebration on Twitter of the great offering Scottish tourism has for the inbound traveller. A lot of good is happening now and throughout 2014, so why make this the peak of Scotland’s ambition?
The anxious aspects for me in a year that promises so much are based off the success achieved prior and the long term success of Scotland – The Home of Golf. Having spent some time assessing the slump in tourism to both Ireland post Ryder Cup 2006 at The K Club and Ryder Cup 2010 at a wet Celtic Manor the infamous post Ryder Cup depression is there for all to see and read. I hope that such a calling bypasses the Perthshire hills this September but those in the industry must urge on the side of caution. Of course many factors create such a dip in visitor numbers however sensible pricing must be a contributing factor. The monetary gains of such an event with global viewership of over 500 million could see all the good work of the public sector and industry bodies such as Golf Tourism Scotland fade away as the monetary Ryder Cup tourism epidemic takes hold.
While Scotland opens the door to the world this 2014 the Scottish Golf Podcast hopes to revel in the successes of Scottish golf tourism in 2014 and beyond. Lets remember who our friends and colleagues are within Scotland tourism and celebrate the many memorable moments together as a collaborative Scottish success story.