WEXFORD is set for a share of a €2 million boost to tourism in the South East and Midlands as Club Choice Ireland welcomes golfers from the UK to stroll the fairways in the area.
Club Choice Ireland, which comprises of golf clubs and resorts, hotels and travel operators, includes Wexford members such as St Helen's Bay Golf Resort, Kelly's Resort, Ferrycarrig Hotel, The Millrace Hotel, The Talbot Hotel, Rosslare Golf Club, Bunclody Golf Club and Wexford Golf Club.
Club Choice Ireland was set up to raise awareness of the South East and Midlands as a premier golfing locations among golfing enthusiasts across England and Wales. The initiative was formally launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar at an event at St Helen's Bay, Rosslare. The plan is for the 26 trade partners and golf clubs to embark on an aggressive marketing campaign which will include visits to UK golf clubs, a series of Irish Golf Days in the UK, a dedicated website and travel trade familiarisation trips aimed at attracting approximately 1,500 additional visitors to the area.
Minister Varadkar recognised the importance of golf to Irish tourism. He said: 'Golf is an important sector for Irish tourism, and generates more revenue than conventional holidays. Golfing visitors tend to play at more than one location, which creates a more dispersed pattern of spending. The golf sector is also a significant employer in its own right. Club Choice Ireland is part of the effort to promote the golf tourism sector, and I wish it every success with its marketing activities in the UK.'
Tiernan Byrne, Club Choice Ireland, commented that this is the first group of its kind and added:
'Golfing represents one of the most valuable sectors of the tourism industry in Ireland. Research carried out by Fáilte Ireland shows that each golfer from overseas is worth three times more to the Irish economy than the average 'tourist' and that they are much more likely to be repeat visitors. It also shows that for three quarters of visitors who play golf in Ireland the opportunity to do so was very important in their decision to come here.'
Stena Line has also signed up to provide travel support to the scheme, which will begin marketing activities immediately with the first of the Irish Golf Days taking place in February 2013.