Top golf media tee off on Wild Atlantic Way

Fáilte Ireland is hosting a group of predominantly US golfing media in Ireland to play a number of courses on the Wild Atlantic Way this week.

The promotion is being carried out in partnership with Tourism Ireland who markets the island of Ireland overseas.

The group includes writers, broadcasters and online media (such as Yahoo Sports) from the US as well as Ben Smith, a top UK blogger.

With a combined audience reach of over 9m, the travelling media who have just arrived from the British Open will play and experience first-hand a range of courses on their visit, including the course selected for next year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Lahinch Golf Club.

Other courses on the itinerary include the Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare as well as Dooks Golf Links, Killarney Golf Club (Killeen course) and the Tralee Golf Links in County Kerry.

Commenting on the importance of the trip, Martin Donnelly, Business Development Manager at Fáilte Ireland said: “Golf plays a significant role in Irish tourism and it is important that we do all we can to support the industry to reach key overseas markets, helping to boost visitor numbers across the country.

"We in Fáilte Ireland feel that it is important to fully promote what is available by assisting these top golf media in showcasing what Ireland has to offer.

We know we can provide world-class golfing, great value for money and fantastic holiday experiences to our international visitors with more than 400 golf courses throughout Ireland, many providing a great showcase of our spectacular and scenic landscapes.

“Hosting overseas media provides us with a platform to promote the rich golf offering we have in every corner of Ireland.

"We very much believe that golf can deliver increasing numbers of tourists into Ireland and we can ensure this happens through trips such as this, which help develop relationships with influential golfing media in key markets around the world."

Golf tourism is a lucrative sector for Ireland with golfers being amongst the highest yielding visitors to Ireland.

Ireland is home to a third of the world’s links golf courses, and over 200,000 overseas visitors take part in golf during their visit every year, contributing almost €270m to the economy and driving over 1.7m bed nights right across the country.

Last year was a record year for the Wild Atlantic Way with over 3.5m international and 4.3m domestic visitors to the region.

Bruce Selcraig, former investigative reporter for Sports Illustrated and currently with Yahoo Sports, USA, commented on his visit:

I've been returning to Ireland every year for about 20 years now not only because of the world's finest links golf and the genuine welcome, but also the glorious smoke-free pubs, indie film houses and newly-abundant ethnic food joints.

Killarney Golf Club’s General Manager, Cormac Flannery, said: “The North American market is undoubtedly the most important market segment for Irish golf tourism.

"This market is primarily focused on our great links layouts so we are just delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our Killeen course to members of the US media, particularly as we celebrate our 125th Anniversary at the club this year.

"It is vitally important to us that groups come and experience our top class championship golf offering on the shores of Lough Leane under the shadow of Ireland’s highest mountain range. An unrivalled setting just five minutes from Killarney town and is a must for any group playing the great courses of the South West.”

- Digital Desk

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