The Ryder Cup is one of the largest sporting events and attracts an average of 45,000 spectators per day from various countries worldwide. As well as attracting this vast amount of physical tourism, the daily recording of the event is broadcasted to over 183 countries worldwide, creating further attraction towards the host destination. 2014 marks the second time the event has been presented in Scotland, 1973 being the time prior to this when the event was held at Muirfield. The impact from the event is expected to be much bigger this time around as a result of a greater marketing campaign behind it. The possible ways in which it could benefit the local economy are endless.
However, before the verification was given back in 2007 that Scotland would be receiving the honour of hosting this event, much investigation was carried out regarding the opposing views of whether it would benefit the Scottish economy or not. Some people, including tourism providers, did not see the alleged benefits in the same way as you would probably think. The view was that the cost of hosting the event would overtake the returns that it would bring to the economy. The conclusion to this investigation will likely not be settled until after the event but solutions can be derived which will hopefully increase the profitable success of the Ryder Cup in Scotland and its benefits to Scottish tourism and consequently to the Scottish economy. It appears in the case of Ireland in 2006, the Ryder Cup has led to a massive increase in awareness of Ireland as a quality golf destination. Therefore, much speculation has been shown by Scots with regards to this year’s event and the benefits it could potentially pass on.
It is hoped that the appeal of Scottish island life will be exploited during the event, primarily as a golfing attraction but furthermore as an additional bunch of destinations which offer bonus cultural and scenic attraction. The likelihood of tourists travelling off the mainland to experience golf on Scottish Islands is high, but mainly to the most popular islands, such as Arran, Skye and Islay. Other remote islands which offer equally beautiful golf courses and touristic activities are becoming more and more acknowledged by visitors but the Ryder Cup is a chance to develop this awareness further and show off the exquisiteness of the country. The best way to experience Scottish golf is to visit Scotland in miniature, for example on Arran which has seven golf courses. The 26 surrounding islands and the world class golfing experiences they can offer to tourists will help the country market itself as the number one golfing destination in the world because of its unique diversity and distinctive scenery.
Scotland is a destination that tourists will aspire to visit for the Ryder Cup as part of a wider event; as a golf holiday package with a myriad of other visiting ambitions other than just the event itself. The country’s many attractions will stand the tourists in good stead to enjoy an unforgettable holiday and will ensure that people think back on the Ryder Cup of 2014 as a time when they gained awareness of Scotland’s abundance of golf attractions. The event will be manic and exciting as always so disappearing to chill out on a Scottish island after it would be the perfect combination for many visitors.
Scotland can succeed in creating a long term gain for their tourism industry as well as for the Ryder Cup as an event, and we can hope that people will look back on 2014 as the year that Scotland proved its true status as the home of golf. Providing tourists with a worthwhile, memorable experience of their trip to Scotland will provide an incentive for repeat tourism. Boosting visits to Scottish islands is an effective way to create these incentives for the country’s sustainable tourism.
There are so many other attractions that this country’s islands have to offer. Islay, for example, is the centre of ‘whisky tourism’ in Scotland. The main whisky distilleries, including Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Lagavulin can be toured allowing visitors to capture the true cultural heritage of the island. The Isle of Skye is home to the beautiful Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously occupied castle in Scotland. It is a must see attraction for tourists venturing to the Island, alongside its many other charming appeals such as the museum of island life and the exquisite lochs and beaches.
This year is an eventful one for Scotland as it holds many opportunities for its popularity to be broadcasted worldwide and its heritage to be discovered. With a year-long programme of traditional activities being held throughout the country in dedication to the homecoming, this marks another chance to show the world what Scotland has to offer.
The Ryder Cup can be grouped together with The Commonwealth Games to show the prominent status of the country. These two internationally significant events being hosted in the country within the same season will intensify the publicity surrounding Scotland, reinforcing its position as a dominant nation. With the independence election being held before the end of the year, the two popular events may have the power to exert influence over voter’s intentions regarding this political matter after Scotland shows what it can do as an independent country. This may give light of what the country can achieve in the coming years.
We can make a pretty safe bet that Abe Mitchell, when pitching the idea of donating a trophy to be played for by the pros of Great Britain and Ireland versus their US counterparts, never thought it would develop into one of the largest sporting events viewed by 183 countries worldwide. The first unofficial matches were played in 1921, also at Gleneagles so the event being hosted here again, 93 years later offers an incredible occasion for Scotland and all the other spectators to reminisce on the history of the event. The event has escalated a long way since the birth of the Ryder Cup in 1927 and Scotland is delighted to welcome the event back to where it first began.