The world’s best golf courses are dotted all around the world, with North America, Oceania as well as European countries such as Scotland, Ireland, and Norway coming to the top of one’s mind when thinking of luscious green driving ranges in the midst of vast, breath-taking landscapes, the idyllic playing ground for any golf-aficionado. As a result of golf’s popularity in the world’s wealthiest markets, a desire to visit and go travelling around the world to explore and tee-off around the world’s courses has created a booming and lucrative market worth any destination with the appropriate resources and infrastructure to target.
The Travellyze platform allows the user to search for specific traveller profiles, including that of the “golf” traveller. After deciding which market the user is interested in (for the purposes we have chosen all European markets, creating the “European traveller”), users can search amongst those travellers who under preferred holiday type selected “golf holiday”. Using this search, we have uncovered a wealth of information on the European traveller who enjoys playing golf on their holidays.
68% of these travellers are made up by men, whilst a quarter are between the ages of 25-34 years old. 35% have an education level of up to a bachelor's degree or similar and 44% are live with a partner or are married.
On average, a quarter of European golf travellers have an average household income of €18,000- €35,000, closely followed by those households that receive €36,000- €58,000 a year (23%). On the other hand, European golf travellers have a relatively high yearly travel budget, with just over a quarter of golf enthusiasts having €3,000- €4,999 to spend on their holidays. This differs to the general European traveller (when we do not select a specific variable in our search) who mostly have a budget of €1,000- €2,999 a year, followed by those on €0- €1,000 a year (slightly over a quarter).
These travellers are mostly inspired by online sources, especially social media channels. These include Facebook, with half of golf travellers labelling the media giant as a source of inspiration. This is followed by Instagram on 44% of travellers, and YouTube with 40%. Family and friends also form an important source, with 2/5 of golf travellers selecting this “offline” inspirational source.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, cleanliness remains of paramount importance to holidaymakers, and this is no different to those who prefer golf-holidays, with 4/10 of this cohort stating to factor this in their destination-making. Notably is also the availability of direct flights, and historical experiences (both on 36%) and thus destinations looking to attract golf enthusiasts should look to enhance their historical offer, as well as the availability of direct flights from key markets.
The Importance of Travel Agents
When booking holidays, it is particularly notable the importance that travel agents continue to have when booking package trips, either in person or via phone or email. This was the most popular option, as well as booking separate flights and hotels online via different portals or travel agencies, both amassing 43%. This may come as a surprise, with in office travel agencies largely seeing sharp declines with the proliferation of the internet, compounded by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We can see how amongst general European travellers, only just over 15% claim to use agencies in this manner, so it’s very worthy that destinations looking to market towards golf enthusiasts form close ties with travel agents.
On Travellyze, users can find when travellers choose to travel, depending on the length and whether they will be travelling nationally, or internationally. For example, we can see that golf enthusiasts who choose to go on European short holidays prefer to travel over a very broad period, of mostly between March to October. This peaks in June, with 17% of travellers choosing to travel over this month, followed by April and May, both with 16%.
Type of Accommodation
As with the general European traveller, 3-4* hotels are the most popular choices for travelling golfers. Of note however is the prominence of luxury suites/villas, with 31% of these travellers looking to stay in such a type of accommodation, as opposed to only 8% of the general European traveller. This difference is not particularly surprising, considering the high costs associated with golfing, attracting a tourist with a higher travel budget (as we have previously noted).
Italy – The destination with the highest image rank
On Travellyze, users have access to travellers’ perception, experience, and awareness of over 130 destinations in the Travellyze index. A destination’s image is based on a comprehensive algorithm that combines the three previous indicators to make up a destination’s overall image rank. Focusing on countries (as opposed to regions as also available), Italy is top of the list, with an index of 358.4. This is indeed lower than in the general rankings, where it also comes first, yet amassing a total 399.7. This is followed by Canada, and France, making them more popular destinations amongst golf travellers than amongst general European travellers.