Golf tourism push for Perth and Kinross ahead of Ryder Cup

'Scotland prepares' sign is put up at Gleneagles The council said the Ryder Cup was an opportunity to develop golf tourism in the area

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A major push to attract more golfers and tourists to Perth and Kinross is being launched by the local council.

It is setting up a partnership organisation and will work with local clubs, hotels and other bodies in a bid to increase expenditure from golf tourism.

It coincides with the Ryder Cup being held at Gleneagles next year.

The council said the event was an important opportunity and would put the region "in the global shop window".

A report commissioned by the council showed that the economic value of golf visitors to the area is around £12.8m a year, supporting 400 jobs.

The local authority said the hosting of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the Junior Ryder Cup at Blairgowrie was expected to lead to an increase in interest in golf tourism for the area.

'Top destination'

The report found the Ryder Cup could lead to a 28% increase in the value of golf tourism to Perth and Kinross up to 2020, which represents an additional £17m of expenditure for the local economy.

The Perth and Kinross Golf Development Partnership (PKGDP) will see the council work alongside local golf clubs and accommodation providers, as well as Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Golf Union and Visit Scotland, to develop an action plan.

Vice Convener of the council's enterprise and infrastructure committee, Councillor Joe Giacopazzi, said: "Perth and Kinross has a wealth of high quality golf courses that range from the internationally-recognised PGA Course at Gleneagles, to the highly regarded Blairgowrie course and many other scenic 9-hole courses.

"We will work in close partnership with tourism agencies, local golf clubs, golf businesses and the hospitality industry to make sure that we can make the most of these assets.

"The collaboration will help the development and marketing of Perth and Kinross as a top golfing destination, and will enable us to compete with other destinations in and outside Scotland."

The committee is due to discuss the plans next week.

Cllr Giacopazzi added: "It's vitally important that we take the opportunities that hosting next year's Ryder Cup will present to us. The event will put Perth and Kinross in the global shop window."

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