SOUTH Down Sinn Féin MLA Willie Clarke has welcomed the launch of a new marketing campaign designed to promote the island of Ireland as a destination for golfing tourists.
Mr Clarke said, “The recent successes of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke in successive Master tournaments, has presented an opportunity to market Irish golf on a global stage and further build on the success of our local sportsmen.
“The Tourism Ireland campaign is being targeted at areas such as Britain, USA, Sweden and Germany, all of which present huge growth potential in terms of capitalising on international interest in recent wins by Irish golfers, and maximising the benefits for Ireland.’
“An average of 150,000 golf tourists will visit Ireland every year and spend around £90 million when here. In the north, we boast two of the top ten golf courses in the world, one of which, Royal Co. Down in Newcastle sits in our very own coast line.”
He added, “With a fantastic product offering across the island of Ireland, we need to ensure that we market ourselves effectively on a global scale and I am glad to see such forward thinking being taken by Tourism Ireland. Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and with the combination of our famed hospitality sector, Ireland has the potential to become a world renowned haven for golfing fans.”