Next year’s Open Championship in St Andrews is expected to bring a bumper boost to the Fife economy.
Golfers and golf fans at this year’s open at Hoylake inundated representatives of the Fife Golf Partnership and Fife Council with inquiries about coming to Fife next year.
Liam Barn, project manager for the Fife Golf Partnership, said: “We literally had thousands of enquiries and gave out more than 1000 Fife Golf guides alone. We expected to be busy but were overwhelmed with the interest in golf courses, hotels, restaurants and other attractions in Fife.”
When the Women’s Open was played in St Andrews last year, it was estimated to have brought £3.4 million in to the Fife economy. Tourism in Fife is worth £313m per annum and supports around 6000 jobs.
The team took one of Fife’s new digital information kiosks to Hoylake to allow people could explore Fife for themselves and there were more than 6000 ‘hits’ on that alone. Analysis of the Hoylake kiosk shows that accommodation bookings are likely to be brisk, with the most popular ‘clicks’ on hotels, bed and breakfasts and self -catering properties. Visitor attractions from heritage to outdoors were also investigated by golf fans.
Liam Barn, project manager for the Fife Golf Partnership said: “We were asked often about how to get to Fife and people were delighted to discover how accessible we are from Edinburgh and Dundee airports. Flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted look likely to be booked up with visitors on their way to Fife.”
Fans of The Open were also impressed with Fife’s range of 50 golf courses. The Fife Golf Trails were designed to help golfers chose the best courses for them and help players to see more of Fife.
Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s executive spokesperson for economy and planning, said: “Fife wants to ensure that no matter what level the golfer is playing at, their golfing and visitor experience in Fife is the very best it can be. We want to provide a great visitor experience both on and off the golf course. We want to make it easy to come to Fife, so that golfers can relax and focus on having a great time.”