Golf provides £1m boost to Highland businesses

Golf provides £1m boost to Highland businesses

A record number of golfing visitors taking advantage of new packages are set to boost off-peak visitor income in the Highlands to £1m.

The past year has seen a record number of visitors taking advantage of Play and Stay packages offered by the Highland Golf Links (HGL) group to boost business during April, October and November.

The deals offer rounds at three of Scotland’s most renowned links courses - Castle Stuart Golf Links, Royal Dornoch Golf Club and The Nairn Golf Club - as well as accommodation at leading hotels, the Kingsmills and Culloden House in Inverness and the Royal Golf in Dornoch.

Last year the number of Play and Stay visits rose from 500 to 613 – a jump of 22.6% on last year. It represented off-peak income of nearly £200,000 and close to £1m has now been generated since HGL was formed in 2011.

It is expected the landmark will be reached early in 2016 with advance bookings already up 14% on this year and the Highlands ready to stage a number of high-profile events.

Fraser Cromarty, chairman of HGL and CEO of The Nairn Golf Club, said: “We are extremely encouraged by the increasing numbers of golfers who have booked packages this year and have already committed for 2016.

“The partnership has been extremely successful in attracting golfing visitors to enjoy the finest golf links and luxury accommodation in a beautiful part of the world.

“Working with the hotels, we can cater for golfers’ needs to make the experience memorable. By doing so, we also generate significant sums of money to the area at traditionally quieter times of the year.

“Reaching the £1m in off-peak income will be a major achievement.”

The number of golfers playing all three championship courses has risen by 44% in 2015 compared to the previous year.