GLOBAL television exposure worth more than £53 million is expected to bring a golfing tourism boom for the Highlands in the New Year, it was revealed today.
Television pictures of the Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness were beamed to more than 500 million households across the globe during the staging of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at the spectacular golf links in July.
A new report for the golfing tourism partnership, Highland Golf Links, has shown that the coverage of the event was watched by a total of 526 million golf fans in America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa.
A spokesman for the partnership said: “The tournament broke new ground by being the first regular European Tour event to be shown live on a major United States TV broadcast network following a landmark agreement signed with NBC which complemented coverage on the Golf Channel.
“NBC broadcast two-and-a-half hours of live coverage on each of the final two days’ play from Castle Stuart which culminated in American Phil Mickelson winning the trophy after a dramatic play-off against South African Branden Grace.”
He continued: “Sky Sports also aired eight hours a day of play from Castle Stuart, while the BBC carried highlights of the event. In all, 42 broadcasters worldwide screened pictures of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, reaching a potential 526.5 million households, the bulk of those in Asia Pacific (275 million), followed by North America (118 million) and Europe 76.3 million).
“The coverage is estimated to be worth the equivalent of £53,247,845 The event, featuring six Major winners and 21 Ryder Cup players, attracted over 65,000 spectators to the Inverness links. It was the third year in succession the event was held at Castle Stuart which will host again in 2016. In 2014 it will move to Royal Aberdeen.”
The Highland Golf Links is a partnership of leading courses and hotels in the Highlands, including Castle Stuart Golf Links, Nairn Golf Club, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House Hotel, in Inverness, the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch and the Golf View Hotel and Spa in Nairn.
Fraser Cromarty, sales and marketing director at Castle Stuart Golf Links and chairman of HGL, said: “The viewing figures are spectacular and can only enhance the reputation of the Highlands of Scotland as a major golfing destination.
“Pictures from Castle Stuart, and the Highlands in general, have been beamed into peoples’ living rooms across the world and we know that golfers are already planning visits here after seeing our wonderful location during such a prestigious occasion.”