General Industry

Return of British Open to Portrush a Huge Boost for Tourism

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Return of British Open to Portrush a Huge Boost for Tourism

The R&A yesterday announced that the Royal Portrush Golf Club has been invited to join the rota to host the British Open, with the earliest available date for hosting the event being in 2019. The chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), Howard Hastings OBE said that it is a huge deal for the Northern Ireland tourism industry.

He added: “I was delighted to hear such positive comments today from Peter Dawson, CEO of the R&A, who confirmed that the ‘tipping point’ for the R&A had been the runaway success of the Irish Open in 2012.”

The British Open has not been held in Portrush since 1951, which is the only time it has been held outside England or Scotland. The NITB are expecting that the Open will result in an economic boost of up to £70m, with about 90 million people viewing the event around the world.

Hastings commented: “The Open’s return to Northern Ireland will play key role in realising our ambitious plans to grow tourism here to a £1 billion industry and I am delighted that the NITB has played a role in attracting the event, and will play a key role in the years ahead in ensuring its success.”

Record numbers descended on the golf course when the Irish Open was held there, with over 130,000 in attendance, and this number is likely to be exceeded when the British Open eventually returns to Portrush.