General Industry

Golf Tourism In Northern Ireland Reached Record Level In 2023

By Robert McHugh
Golf Tourism In Northern Ireland Reached Record Level In 2023

Tourism Northern Ireland has brought together key stakeholders and local businesses from the Northern Ireland tourism industry to showcase the opportunities available in the 2024 Amgen Irish Open.

The tournament, which takes place at the world class Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Co Down from 11-15 September, will bring some of the top golfers in the world to Northern Ireland.

'Visitor Attractions'

“Northern Ireland is famed for its 19th hole hospitality, and we want visitors not only to enjoy the golf but also experience all that NI has to offer off-course too, including local food, drink, music, accommodation and visitor attractions," said Siobhan McGuigan, head of events at Tourism Northern Ireland.

"We are also known as a value-for-money destination, so would encourage our industry to apply fair-pricing principles, to encourage visitors to extend their stay, and come back to visit again.”

Golf Tourism

Tourism NI recently revealed that the overall value of Golf Tourism in 2023 increased to £68.2 million (€80.1 million), the highest figure ever recorded for golf tourism in NI, and well above the £52 million (€61.1 million) recorded in 2019, the year which saw The Open Championship return to Royal Portrush. The increase was driven by more spend by golfers from Great Britain and North America.


The figures were published as Northern Ireland was named the Best Golf Destination in Western Europe by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).

'Community Spirit'

“We are excited to be heading to Royal County Down for this year’s Amgen Irish Open and we are grateful to all our partners for their support in building what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights on the island of Ireland’s sporting calendar," said Paul Gillmon, championship director of the Amgen Irish Open from the DP World Tour.

“The community spirit and buy-in from local people and businesses alike make this event what it is, and it was wonderful to see so many express an interest in finding out how they can get involved this year.”

Rich History

The Irish Open was first played in the 1920s and most recently took place in Northern Ireland in 2020, when it was hosted by Galgorm Castle Golf Club. The tournament was last staged at Royal County Down in 2015.

Previous Irish Opens held in Northern Ireland have each generated in excess of 20,000 bednights across the region.

The day before this year’s main tournament begins, celebrities including Patrick Kielty, Johnny Sexton, Tommy Bowe and James Nesbitt will be taking part in the Amgen Irish Open Pro Am competition.