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20 April 2017, 13:25
The economic value of golf tourism to Scotland has increased to £286 million per year, according to a study.
Commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, the research showed the contribution the game and related events makes to the economy.
It revealed the value had increased by £66 million (30%) since 2008, supporting 4,700 jobs and spreading benefits across golfing regions.
It also showed overseas golfing visitors spend on average £338 per night on a trip, more than four times the daily spend (£78.90) of an average overseas visitor.
Almost half of overnight visitors quizzed (47%) travelled to play golf in Scotland.
The North American market represented 30% of all overnight golfing visitors, with 14% coming from Europe.
VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: ''These findings outline the importance golf tourism and events play in supporting Scotland's visitor economy and the Scottish economy as a whole.
''Golf is one of Scotland's unique selling points which resonates with potential visitors all over the world and signifies why we place huge importance promoting Scotland as the home of golf to a global market place.
''Our support of international golf events and our global golf marketing activity gives us significant media profile and I am delighted that this is in turn reflected in golf's contribution to the Scottish economy.''
Danny Cusick, tourism sector portfolio director at Scottish Enterprise, said: ''Scotland has some of the finest golfing assets in the world as well as a rich golfing history and heritage, and with such tremendous international appeal it comes as no surprise that the value of this important tourism sector has grown enormously in recent years.
''We mustn't rest on our laurels; we want ambitious Scottish golf tourism companies to capitalise on this upward trend and consider how best they can develop and scale their business to meet the growing domestic and international demand.''
The results of the study will now be used to guide Scotland's Golf Tourism Strategy: Driving Forward Together, which wants to boost the economic value of the Scottish industry to £300 million by 2020.