Irish Open fans set to boost Kerry tourism

Some 75,000 golf fans are set to give Kerry a €30m tourism boost next year, business chiefs said today.

Some 75,000 golf fans are set to give Kerry a €30m tourism boost next year, business chiefs said today.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce said the 3 Irish Open would put the south west on the map over the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2010.

An estimated 300 million people will also be watching the golf competition on television around the world.

Jerry O’Grady, chamber executive, said players and visitors would have a memorable time while giving Kerry businesses a multi-million euro cash injection through tourism.

“Golf has been a core element of the Kerry visitor experience for almost a century, offering the visitor some of the most scenic and enjoyably challenging courses in the world,” Mr O’Grady said.

“Killarney Golf and Fishing Club has arguably two of the most scenic parkland courses on the circuit and is one of the oldest, most established and internationally recognised clubs in Ireland where golf has been played since the 19th century.”

The 3 Irish Open will tee off on July 29 and boasts a €3m prize fund.

It was last held in Killarney in 1991 and 1992.

Elaine Carey, marketing director of 3, which sponsors the event, said the course was an idyllic setting.

“We expect many of the world’s top golfers to take part in what will be a magical weekend in one of the world’s great beauty spots,” said Ms Carey.

“It will also prove a big draw for golf fans and their families to holiday in Kerry around the tournament and to enjoy the wonderful festival atmosphere of the bank holiday weekend.”

Maurice O’Meara, club general manager, said it was a pleasure for staff to welcome back the leading European Tour players just a couple of weeks prior to Ryder Cup qualifying being finalised.

“This should ensure a very strong field for this event,” added Mr O’Meara.

“Killarney Golf and Fishing Club looks forward to working with its members and local industry partners to ensure that the 3 Irish Open 2010 is one of the most memorable Irish sporting events of the year.”

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