Fáilte Ireland puts Golf to the Fore as World Leading Tour Operators tee off in Killarney

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., today welcomed 35 of the world’s top international golf tour operators to Killarney for Fáilte Ireland’s 2018 Golf Ireland Convention, a showcase of the country’s top-class golfing experiences.

The convention, organised in partnership with Tourism Ireland and IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), is a forum for key overseas golf operators to meet directly with more than 60 Irish golf industry members and to negotiate overseas business for 2018 and 2019.

Golf tourism is an extremely lucrative sector for Ireland with golfers being amongst the highest yielding visitors to Ireland. Over 200,000 overseas visitors take part in golf during their visit to Ireland every year, contributing almost €270 million to the economy and driving over 1.7 million bed nights right across the country. Working with Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland is focused on growing these numbers by targeting those markets with greatest potential.

International buyers attending this year’s convention have been selected from core golf tourism markets, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and US, and represent some of the biggest producers of golf business as well as those with the most potential to grow golf tourism into Ireland.

During the convention, Irish suppliers will have the opportunity to sell the best of golf in Ireland to the key operators through familiarisation trips, a round of golf, workshops and networking sessions. In total, the 2018 Golf Ireland Convention will facilitate over 700 face-to-face meetings.

Opening the networking event at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney this morning, Minister Brendan Griffin said:

"Ireland is home to over 400 golf courses, including spectacular parkland courses, and has hosted some of the biggest and most prestigious golfing events in the world. With credentials like these, as well as scenic backdrops and top visitor attractions and hospitality, it is little wonder that Ireland continues to punch well above its weight in attracting golfers from every corner of the globe.

"Golf plays a significant role in Irish tourism and it is important that we do all we can to support the industry to reach key overseas markets, helping to boost visitor numbers across the country. I’m delighted to welcome some of the world’s top international golf tour operators to Killarney this morning and have no doubt that they will be presented with numerous reasons to sell Ireland as a prime golfing destination to their clients."

The major golfing trade event is taking place over the course of two days (Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th April) at Dooks Golf Club and the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney.

Following the two-day convention, delegates will be brought on a tour of the area to experience some of the best courses, attractions and hospitality in the South West for four days.

Paul Mockler, Head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland said:

"The 2018 Golf Ireland Convention is part of Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing commitment to driving increased golf tourism to Ireland. The golf tourism industry is worth €270 million to the Irish economy, having grown by 33% since 2012. The significant growth in golf tourism revenue to Ireland reflects Fáilte Ireland’s continued investment in golf tourism, as well as our work to provide the Irish industry with quality platforms to sell their product to both consumers and the travel trade around the world.

"Events like the Golf Ireland Convention allow us to showcase the wonderful links golf experience that the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer first-hand to these influential golf tour operators."

Carlton Carugati, General Manager at IAGTO, added:

"Thanks to the support of Fáilte Ireland, we are pleased to be holding the 5th Golf Ireland Convention in Killarney. The event provides a fantastic opportunity for the Irish Golf Suppliers to meet up with 35 Golf Tour Operators selling Ireland and to promote their season’s packages. It is a pleasure to hold the event in South West Ireland for the first time as the region has some of the finest venues anywhere in the world making it the perfect golfing destination."