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Northern Ireland to Use Golf Stars to Drive Tourism

Published on Mar 24 2015 4:22 PM in General Industry

Northern Ireland to Use Golf Stars to Drive Tourism

Northern Ireland is hoping to use golf pros such as Rory McIlRoy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke to promote its golf tourism.

Golf tourism is currently worth €45 million to Northern Ireland's economy, a number Stormont is hoping to increase to €68 million with help from its homegrown aces, as reported in the Irish Independent.

Northern Irish Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said that as a sporting and tourism pursuit, golf has never been more popular and Northern Ireland is in a prime position to capitilise on that.

"The vision of the strategy is to grow the value of golf tourism to £50m per annum by 2020, and in doing so to remind golfers worldwide that Northern Ireland is where golf champions are born and play," said Foster.

Fáilte Ireland, which will host the Golf Ireland Convention next year, has said it doesn't believe the plans will hurt golf tourism south of the border, currently worth €200 million a year to the Irish economy.

"People who come to the island won't just stop at the border, they'll come and play here as well and when you look at the value of the euro against the sterling they'll probably get better value here at the moment," said the spokesman.

The Irish Open will take place at Royal County Down on 28 May, for which Rory McIlroy has already convinced a number of big names to attend, incluuding Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Rickie Fowler. The event is being hosted by McIlroy's charity, the Rory Foundation. 

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