We all wish we could take a swing at COVID-19. Unfortunately, that’s not possible with a virus. However, multiple people around the world have been visiting golf courses to relieve their frustrations with a club and ball. The golf tourism industry, like many others, has taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. However, they were showing signs of rebound and popularity in the later stages of 2021.
The global golf tourism market is still growing, despite the coronavirus. Estimated to grow by $5.36 billion between 2020 and 2024, golf is one of the few sports that have been able to keep matches going. This has allowed golf travel to continue as well. It was very telling to numerous golf travellers didn’t want to cancel their trips when the pandemic took hold. They just delayed their interest to upcoming years.
This particular segment of the travel industry is doing very well compared to others, and this doesn’t seem to be changing even with the global pandemic. Keep reading this article to learn more about this billion-dollar industry and why it’s doing so well despite the pandemic.
The golf community and travel industry have been buzzing with the news that golf’s popularity is on the rise, with some calling it the “COVID-19 generation of golfers.” This can be seen in the statistics and it tells everyone that coronavirus isn’t the only bug people are catching. In fact, one local travel advised us that deals & offers to Vilamoura golfing was last months top request.
The interest in golf is growing rapidly, with Google search results showing that in May 2020 the term ‘golf courses’ was up 40%. As more non-golfers express positive sentiment about the sport—55% in 2020, up from 43% in 2013—it’s no wonder that social media chatter on the topic has also increased. As the outbreak of coronavirus continues, golf-related ad campaigns have become more relevant to individuals. It is believed that one of the main reasons why the popularity of the sports has increased is because a significant amount of casual golfers have spent more time and interest in the sport.
Many professional athletes have turned their attention to golf as their new casual sporting choice as their sports were temporarily put on hold because of COVID. Since 2020, there has been a 20% increase in the number of junior golfers. This surge in new golfers, many of whom are part of a younger generation, bodes well for the future of the sport. Golf can break into new demographics and markets, which gives it a great position compared to other sports.
Committed Sportswomen and Men
Even though new golfers and breathing a new lease of life into the sport, experienced golfers and spending more time on the green than ever before. They are also growing their interest in golf tourism. The National Golf Foundation surveyed golfers in the United States and found that almost a third are happy to travel more than eight hours for a golf trip, while 76% would be happy to travel more than four hours.
Broadcasting of Professional Golf
The quick return of professional golf play has stoked enthusiasm for the game and golf tourism. With events such as the PGA TOUR playoffs and the U.S Open being broadcasted for a lot of the world to see, recreational golfers are encouraged to get out and play. Tournaments were still popular for new and old golfers even though there was no real-life audience. These tournaments were used as a tester to see if other sports can start up again.
A Well Supported Industry
The golf tourism community is forecast to grow and remain popular due to its resilient and supportive nature. This will allow golf tour operators to thrive in the coming years. Last year’s annual Golf Convention in Ireland was held virtually, in the hopes of encouraging tour operators and suppliers to invest in promoting golf holidays. There were 104 tour operators from around across the globe at the convention who virtually met with 100 Irish golf tourism companies to spark interest in more future golf travel. As more governments invest in golf tourism infrastructure, the niche market for golf tourism is growing.
Golf tourism has many advantages when it comes to controlling and slowing the spread of COVID-19, which strengthens its ability to prosper through adversity.
Golf courses are the perfect place for social distancing. Golfers can travel around in their private golf carts and tee times can be organised in such a manner that only one bubble is present at any given moment. Golfing before the introduction of COVID-19 was not much different from the current mentality and practice. Golf courses have put in place actions to reduce the number of contact points during play to mitigate the risk of disease transmission.
It is a non-contact sport, and golf allows individuals who have been cooped up indoors for a long time to get outside and participate. Research has demonstrated that physical activity can enhance mood, health, and sleep. It has also shown that it can either raise or lower anxiety. During these turbulent times, golf travel is a mood lightener and helps to reduce stress levels.
Golf is a non-contact sport, and thus, one where accidents are rare. In addition, emergency workers often need to be elsewhere, so it is a fantastic benefit. It is also said that an 18-hole course is equivalent to a 5-mile walk. This is especially pertinent to golfers who don’t own their golf carts and have to walk from hole to hole on the course.
Outdoor spaces have been valued in countries where coronavirus has been widespread over the past year because it provides an escape from their homes. Golfers have also been allowed to continue playing, in many nations, despite stringent lockdown restrictions, and this is because they appreciate fresh air and open spaces.
Although, many parts of the tourism industry have been plagued by lockdown periods and waves of infection, COVID-19 has created opportunities for revenue.
Those who are looking to enter the golf niche or are already operating in it have a lot to look forward to. As one of the fastest-growing travel niches, some of the world’s greatest tour operator software providers are dedicated to helping it remain strong and successful as a result of their technical expertise.