New Italian tourism drive fuels 20% rise in golf bookings

Italy’s rise to prominence as one of Europe’s top golf destinations continues to gather pace, with international green fee bookings up by more than 20 per cent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Boosted by the launch this spring of the new Italy Golf & More project, latest figures revealed that the number of rounds played by international golfers across the country rose by more than a fifth between January and June.

Featuring no fewer than 141 18-hole courses, Italy – venue for the 2022 Ryder Cup – is proving particularly popular with players from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, France and Scandinavia eager to combine a golfing break with the chance to experience many of its other historic, cultural and gastronomic delights.

And, with Italy Golf & More’s drive to promote golf tourism moving into full gear this summer, a period of further growth is forecast, with heightened interest from golf tour operators looking to introduce or expand their Italian product offering combining with increased consumer awareness.

Driven by a concentrated activation campaign across print, digital, social and event channels, golfers in the UK and Ireland are currently receiving receive unprecedented exposure to the country’s golfing allure, with the new initiative raising awareness for the diversity and outstanding value on offer across its golf portfolio.

Bruno Bertero, project co-ordinator for Italy Golf & More, said: “Combining fantastic golf with amazing variety away from the course, Italy has everything required for a golfing experience you will never forget.

“The international golf market is growing all the time and these latest figures are a further illustration of the country’s rise to prominence as an impressive destination for travelling golfers. This is an exciting time for Italian golf as momentum and the build-up grows towards the 2022 Ryder Cup.”

Italy Golf & More is a collaboration between private sector partner regions, the Italian Golf Federation and the Ministry of Tourism (MIBACT), who have come together to embark on a seven-figure investment to increase awareness, and future golf tourism traffic, from key European markets to Italy.

The partner regions consist of Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia and Sicily – who together boast 112 of Italy’s golf courses – with 11 further regions falling under the investment of the Italian Golf Federation.

With 20 airports in the UK now operating regular flights to all over Italy, the country has never been so accessible, while its warm climate and mixture of mouth-watering cuisine, fine wines, spas, history, culture and beaches make it the perfect location for a golf break.