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Golf tourism benefiting Aberdeen

August 30, 2013

Golf tourism is having an increasingly positive effect on the local economy according to the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels' Association. Some hotels can report up to a 93% direct increase on their room sales to golfers.  And, the 'Trump Effect' is not just benefiting the hotels themselves, city restaurants are also reaping the rewards from the uplift in golfers trips to the area.

Chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels' Association, Chris McGuinness explains, "Golf has always been an integral part of the tourism offering in and around Aberdeen with around 60 courses easily accessible within around an hour.  However, now that Trump International Golf Links has been open for a full year, hoteliers are able to calculate the direct benefit which this golfing spotlight has brought to the area."

Stewart Spence, owner of the five star Marcliffe Hotel and Spa reports an increase of 93% in room sales to golfers since the opening of Trump International in 2012. These figure relate to the golf 'season' from May to date and Mr Spence considers that by the end of September, this figures will have increased further to the point where rooms booked by golfers are three times as high as bookings in 2012.

Mike Edwards, Managing Director at the Mariner Hotel in Aberdeen reports a 'fantastic increase in weekend visitors this year,' citing guests from Norway and North America visiting for the purposes of a golfing weekend.

Chris McGuinness continues, "It's obvious that, whilst golf has always been important to the area, we can now firmly attribute a significant increase in this business to the opening of the Trump International Golf Links. The area's golfing credentials will further be boosted when The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open comes to Royal Aberdeen in 2014 and is broadcast live in the States."

"Aberdeen remains a busy destination for travellers midweek due for the most part to the oil and gas sector. But hoteliers are now reporting an uplift in weekend business which includes the golfing groups.

However, it is not just the hoteliers who benefit from this influx of golfing visitors.

"Restaurants and shops feel this spin off from these visitors," continues Chris. "Visitors on a three night break don't tend to eat in their hotel each evening, so local restaurants and pubs benefit as do taxi drivers. If we all work together, we can ensure these visitors have a great experience and go home telling more golfers about our area.

Hotels across the city of Aberdeen are welcoming a reinvigoration of midweek business. Andrew McLoughlin, general manager at Jurys Inn Aberdeen says, "To date this year, Jurys Inn Aberdeen is experiencing a weekend bedroom revenue growth of 5%. Key contributing factors to this include the promotional room rates we have available for weekend breaks and Aberdeen's increased popularity as a leisure destination, in particular for golf, theatre and shopping. This increased hotel business is having a positive effect on the local area and the city as a whole."

Chris McGuinness continues, "Golf is a major contributor to Scotland's economy and is estimated, by VisitScotland, to be worth £220m annually. However, this is expected to rise to a potential £300m by the end of this decade. Aberdeen and the wider Shire area is set to be a major beneficiary of this uplift with the importance of the Trump course in particular for the overseas golfers and when the spotlight lands on the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July 2014. In a recent report on the value of golf to Scotland's economy [Scottish Golf Union/VisitScotland/Scottish Enterprise] it is calculated that approximately one third of all green fee payers come from outwith Scotland with 57% from the rest of the UK; 19% from Europe and 17% from North America."

Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels' Association is working with VisitAberdeen to continue to attract more visitors to the area for weekend breaks. Local hotels recently hosted a press trip of journalists to show them the golf courses of the area.

"We're looking forward to continuing to working with VisitAberdeen to showcase Aberdeen City and Shire to a wider audience and to continue to offer excellent value weekend break rates to those visitors.

The Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels' Association represents 39 independently operated hotels and conference venues. These hotels provide around 2500 bedrooms in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The Association is committed to improving the quality and standard of hotel services and to furthering the overall standards of excellence and hospitality within the region.

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