A multi-million dollar investment is needed to upgrade New Zealand’s ageing golf course infrastructure to attract more high net worth tourists – according to an industry expert.
According to latest industry figures, around 61,000 international visitors play golf in New Zealand annually – contributing over $425 million to the economy with over 80% of golf tourism spend on accommodation, dining, shopping, travel and other forms of entertainment. As a sector, golf employs 2000 Kiwis and is the most popular club-based sport for adults with 500,000 golfers.
This year’s Travel Industry Golf Tournament in Auckland was as much about getting past and present representatives of the sector together as it was about the sport itself.
The goal was achieved with 59 (of a possible 60) players turning up and a mix of retired, active and ‘hibernating’ had a day of sport and catching up at Akarana Golf Club.
As usual, the day was heavily weighted towards being a social occasion but there were several noteworthy results. The best gross score of the day (72) was achieved by Cullam Murchison, House of Travel Product.
Best stableford division one was won by Al Yesberg, House of Travel Broadway, who also won the spot prize of a bottle of Jamieson, courtesy of TRAVELinc Memo,
Best stableford division two winner was Alastair Calder, Calder and Lawson.
Spot Prize Queenstown weekend, courtesy Air New Zealand, Novotel Queenstown, Southern Discoveries and Kiss my Putt was Paul Otway, House of Travel Product
Anyone keen to join in next year note their diaries for last Friday in March.
- Mark Kinchley, Royal Caribbean Cruises;... Mark Kinchley, Royal Caribbean Cruises;...
- Tim Butcher, Travel Directions; Richard... Tim Butcher, Travel Directions; Richard...
- Joe O’Sullivan, Donal O’Sullivan, both... Joe O’Sullivan, Donal O’Sullivan, both...
- Chris Ireland, Pan Pacific; Kerry... Chris Ireland, Pan Pacific; Kerry...
- Tournament organiser Dennis Payne, House... Tournament organiser Dennis Payne, House...
Packaging local attractions, activities and transport with clients’ sporting passion has allowed Golf Encounters to stay engaged with customers and add value to a domestic experience.
Director Peter Cox says tours coming up in March and April include a combination of the Tranz Alpine Express from Christchurch with golf in the West Coast. Last November, Golf Encounters hosted a group that combined the sport with the Otago Rail Trail. Bay of Islands, Taupo, Napier and Queenstown are among the other destinations being visited.
Hospitality personality Jane Reese has launched a golf mentoring company that also operates rookie golf retreats in Queenstown.
Kiss My Putt’s packages are aimed at small groups (limited to eight people) who want to get together for a few days and combine luxury with learning ‘how
to love golf’, Reese says.