Christchurch, New Zealand: Golf tourism in New Zealand is thriving with golf visitors up a record 23% alongside an 18% increase in spend by these visitors for the year ending April 2016.
The growth rate is among one of the highest being experienced worldwide with NZ$329 million being pumped into the economy each year from international golf tourism.
Golf Tourism New Zealand’s third golf tourism progress report provides a summary of activity taken over the past year as part of the International Golf Tourism Strategy.
Over the last few years there has been significant investment in new and existing courses resulting in New Zealand offering a range of uncrowded internationally ranked courses that are proving very attractive.
Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), said the growth in golf visitors to New Zealand in the past year is an example of what can be achieved within a relatively short space of time when a national tourist board invests in golf tourism promotion and is guided by a sustainable golf tourism promotional strategy.
Walton said: “The results speak for themselves and are testament to Tourism New Zealand’s golf tourism initiative. We are confident that international golf travel to New Zealand will continue to snowball because the destination has clusters of truly spectacular golf courses providing a golf experience that is quite unique to New Zealand and will be much sought after as the word spreads around.
“Globally, golf tourism is in a good place with 2016 being the fifth year of consecutive growth and forward bookings for 2017 looking strong, with golf tour operator bookings up 4.8% year on year worldwide and up 5.3% in Asia and Australasia.”
Golfing visitors tend to stay longer and spend more, staying on average 27 days compared with other holiday visitors who stay for an average 16 days.
Furthermore, golfing visitors are more likely to do other activities like visiting wineries and local attractions.
New Zealand has around 400 courses and offers a wide variety of conditions, from oceanfront sub-tropical courses in the north to alpine settings in the south.
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