The local Councils in Perth and Kinross have undertaken a major drive to attract more golfers and tourists to the area ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and Junior Ryder Cup at Blairgowrie.
Through setting up a partnership organisation it will work with local clubs, hotels and other bodies in a bid to increase expenditure from golf tourism.
The council said the event was an important opportunity and would put the region “in the global shop window”.
Steven MacDonald, the council’s Regeneration Projects Officer, stated in a report to the committee: “Perth and Kinross has a wealth of high quality inland courses that range from the internationally recognised Gleneagles courses, including the PGA Centenary course that will be used for the 2014 Ryder Cup, the highly regarded Blairgowrie which is hosting the Junior Ryder Cup 2014, and a number of scenic nine hole courses which fit well with Perthshire’s reputation for scenery and outdoor activities.
“The total value of golf visitors to Perth and Kinross is estimated to be around £12.8 million in total, supporting approximately 400 jobs – 300 direct jobs and a further 100 indirect jobs. This figure is relatively low compared with other areas because there are proportionately more day trip visitors and a smaller proportion stay overnight.”
But he explains that, based on consultation feedback, the economic value of golf tourism in Perth and Kinross should grow by 28 per cent by 2020, resulting in an additional expenditure of £17 million, around £2.4 million a year.
Mr MacDonald states: “The Ryder Cup is providing a catalyst for golf businesses to consider how to take advantage of the opportunities and, in the longer term, develop the area as a more attractive destination for visiting golfers. The consultation carried out suggests that golf businesses are fairly optimistic that this can be achieved, but will require greater co-operation and support.”