Over 21 local golf representatives joined Tourism NI this week at the second International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) Links virtual event as part of efforts to grow the value of golf tourism in Northern Ireland.
IGTM Links 2021 virtual event (23 – 25 March) enabled the opportunity for almost 500 international buyers and exhibitors engaging in thousands of one-to-one meetings. The virtual event was hosted through a state-of-the-art online meeting platform, giving golf courses, golf resorts and destinations across the globe a unique opportunity to access mutually matched, flexible meetings with international golf tour operators.
During the three-day event industry representatives from Northern Ireland joined a range of sessions, including presentations and panel discussions from top international golf courses and resorts, in addition to research findings on how to plan business strategies. The event also incorporated meetings with international travel editors, providing NI industry with an opening to feature in global travel publications.
Golf tourism is a highly lucrative sector for Northern Ireland with over 120,000 golf visitors in 2019, which contributed over £52 million to the local economy (Tourism NI 2019 Golf Tourism Monitor).
Events such as IGTM Links are crucial for networking and maintaining important business relationships, as well as showcasing what’s available in Northern Ireland for future golf programme or itineraries.
Leanne Rice, Golf Marketing Manager at Tourism Northern Ireland, commented:
“Golf tourism is a lucrative sector and continuing to promote our golf product is crucial in the current climate. The IGTM Links virtual platform is a great opportunity for our tourism industry to meet buyers globally and not only reinforce existing relationships but also create new contacts with buyers. The event was held virtually for the first time last year and it’s very positive to see the commitment from our industry to promote golf again this year.”