Having carried out more than 200 golf tourism audits across golf courses worldwide over the past two decades, IAGTO unveiled its Quality Assurance Scheme at the International Golf Travel Market back in October 2019. Since then, ten clubs from Northern Ireland have successfully passed the certification programme including Ardglass, Castlerock, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Roe Park, Malone, Royal Belfast, Belvoir Park, Portstewart, Royal Portrush Golf Clubs and Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf & Country Club.
In addition to this, IAGTO launched its first ever Golf Tourism Accreditation programme for golf course managers which recognises the proficiency and expertise of individuals working in the golf tourism sector.
Leanne Rice, Tourism NI’s Golf Marketing Manager commented; “This is a fantastic opportunity for golf clubs in Northern Ireland to showcase and deliver the best possible golf experience for both international and local golf visitors. Northern Ireland is experiencing unprecedented success and status as a golf destination following the triumphs of its champion golfers, its world ranking golf courses and hosting outstanding events, most recently The 148th Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
Leanne added: “In the last five years, golf tourism revenue has grown by over 50% and in 2018 alone we welcomed over 124,000 golf visitors, contributing £42.6 million to the local economy. We are delighted by the number of golf clubs seeking to become quality assured which clearly demonstrates the sectors eagerness to provide a world class experience to golfers across the country and we look forward to continuing the accreditation process in 2020.”
The certification programme is open to all golf courses and includes an online Golf Tourism Audit, and an IAGTO site inspection. Any golf course that does not achieve certification is provided with a step-by-step roadmap to achieving certification status.
For more information visit Tourism NI