Published on : Friday, July 7, 2017
Millions of households around the world will tune into spectacular images of Portstewart this week as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open kicks off. With extended and enhanced TV coverage compared to the previous years, the tournament is providing a major opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland as a golf destination.
According to John McGrillen, Tourism NI Chief Executive, “With a top-class field, our own Rory McIlroy defending his title and a ‘fifth major’ feel to the tournament on and off the course, we eagerly anticipate a week of outstanding golf, increased visitors and a sell-out crowd in Portstewart. Northern Ireland is the home of world-class courses, world-class players, and world-class golf events, and that is the message we will be showcasing all through this week and beyond.”
Over 90,000 visitors are expected at Portstewart and the surrounding areas of the Causeway Coastal Route. It is expected that £2 million of positive PR will be generated for Northern Ireland, helping to raise the destination’s profile to golfers around the world.
John McGrillen further said, “Our support for the Irish Open is an investment in our tourism industry that will pay dividends for years to come. The benefits include priceless TV exposure, visitors from across Ireland and further afield, a vital contribution to the economy and a wonderful lead in to our delivery of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019. The Irish Open will deliver high-spending visitors to Northern Ireland this year, but we also hope that it will help drive an increase in out of state visitors taking part in golfing activities going forward. Revenue from golf visitors has risen to £35.6 million per year, is making a significant impact on recent positive tourism performance and will continue to help us to achieve our ambitious target of making tourism a £1 billion industry by 2020.”