Scotland is known world-wide as 'the home of golf'. Attracting
international and UK-based golfers to stay and play in Scotland is
a key strand in the country’s tourism strategy. VisitScotland has a
dedicated golf marketing programme which targets golfers throughout
the UK and in key international markets across the world.
The Value of Golf to Scotland's Economy
In 2016, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise commissioned
Progressive Partnership and SQW to conduct a programme of research
with golfing visitors to Scotland.
The study was to update previous research conducted in 2009
which estimated that golf tourism was worth around £220 million in
visitor expenditure. In a further study in 2011, SQW estimated that
there was potential to grow golf visitor expenditure to £300
million by 2020. The 2016 research was commissioned to ensure
that up to date information was available to inform the
implementation of the
Scottish Golf Tourism Strategy 2013 - 2020.
Key findings from the 2016 study are:
- The economic value of golf tourism and events to Scotland has
increased to £286 million per annum supporting 4,700 jobs
- This is an increase of 30% (£66M) over the 2009 figures
- Almost half of Scotland’s golfing visitors (47%) travel from
overseas to play golf in Scotland
- Of these, the North American market remains key and represents
30% of all overnight golfing visitors with a further 14% coming
from European visitors
- On average, overnight golfing visitors spend 6.79 nights in
Scotland with overseas visitors spending 10.21 nights
- Overnight visitors spend on average 7.5 days playing golf while
they also average 3.85 days participating in other tourism
activities, benefitting non-golf tourism businesses and
- On average, an overnight golfing visitor will spend £245 per
night but this number jumps to £338 for visitors from overseas.
North Americans spend approx. £405 per night
- The majority of overseas golfing visitors (57%) had been to
Scotland before suggesting that for many, a trip playing golf in
Scotland is not seen as a once in a lifetime experience
- Of all overnight visitors, 81% overall agreed their trip was
one of the best golfing holidays/short breaks they had ever
- Approximately, 12% of golfing visitors were female with this
percentage rising to 18% of European visitors.
Golf Visitor Survey and Economic Impact 2016 - Executive
Summary (size 376kb)
Golf Visitor Survey and Economic Impact 2016 - Full Report
Country (size 304kb)
Lothian (size 308kb)
Scotland (size 304kb)
The Ryder Cup
In 2014, Scotland hosted one of the world’s
major sporting occasions and the biggest tournament in golf, The
Ryder Cup. To read the Highlights Report
published by all Ryder Cup partners please visit
The Scottish Government website.
For more information on the golf industry, please visit
Scottish Golf Limited, the
governing body for amateur golf in Scotland.