The clubhouse at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club basks in winter sunshine.
VisitAberdeenshire has launched a new initiative aimed at further promoting the north east of Scotland as a key golfing destination.
Bringing together golf courses, hotels and tour operators, GolfAberdeenshire will raise the profile of the north east as a key golfing destination and will work to further develop the golf product.
Golf tour operators will also be a partner in the initiative which aims to establish the area as a ‘golfing Mecca’ for both domestic and international golfers.
Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “Golf Aberdeenshire will draw on the region’s rich golfing heritage; attracting more new visitors to play golf on our magnificent courses, whilst also looking forward to future developments as it encourages partners to work more collaboratively.
“We have already lined up a presence at two internationally recognised golf events; the PGA Exhibition in Orlando in January 2018 and at the Northern Ireland Open in August 2017 in Ballymena.
“We’ll interact with golfers, group buyers and tour operators from across the globe to sell what is a world class golf offering.
“It’s no secret that golf is one of Aberdeenshire’s most attractive tourism offerings. The golf industry in the north east brings in £20m into the local economy from visitors to the area.”
Independent research by KPMG shows that the golf industry is worth £1.1bn to Scotland’s economy, and the north east is ideally placed to take advantage of an increased share of this.
Scotland is seen as a world-class destination for golfing tourism, with one third of green fee payers in Scotland coming from elsewhere in the UK and overseas.
Aberdeenshire, with its 55 courses within an hour’s drive, including championship courses, world class links courses and varied parkland is a major draw for golfing visitors.
Andy Burgess, interim chairman of GolfAberdeenshire, added: “Golf has always been known as a lucrative tourism sector.
“There is great scope to increase the economic benefits golf brings to Aberdeenshire, and it is not just golf courses that benefit from increased tourism.
“Hotels guest houses, restaurants and other leisure providers will experience an increase in trade as we increase golfing trips to the area.”
Planning for a marketing campaign which will run for the initial 12 months of the GolfAberdeenshire initiative will begin immediately.
GolfAberdeenshire will be based within the offices of VisitAberdeenshire with full access to its marketing, business development and business engagement teams.