Tourism New Zealand is to invest up to $2 million in international golf marketing – and Queenstown will be a major beneficiary.
Tourism NZ announced the investment, to be spread over three years, this week.
It follows a strategy report prepared by a golf working group set up in April.
The report says NZ has a world-class golf tourism offering and the opportunity to do more with it.
Tourism NZ is aiming to lift the estimated annual expenditure by international golf tourists from $145m to $223m within three years.
Golf working party chair Greg Turner told the Otago Daily Times that Queenstown would benefit most.
The Queenstown-based former pro golfer says: “The jewel in the crown of NZ golf is Queenstown.”
Tourism NZ marketing communications general manager Justin Watson says it wants to tap the 100,000 Australians and 1.5 million Americans, on average, who travel each year to play golf.
“The findings are that NZ is a distinctive but largely undiscovered destination for golf enthusiasts, despite the significant investment that has already occurred in quality infrastructure.”
The $2m would be spent on advertising NZ golf in magazines, golf trade shows and inviting golfing journalists to visit.
The strategy will target areas like Australia, North America and China, and proposes the establishment of North and South Island golf trails.
Turner told Mountain Scene last month: “We’re operating at about 50 per cent capacity – about two per cent of our visitors play golf.
“In places like Australia and more mature or know golf markets, that’s about four per cent.”
Golf tourists, he tells the ODT, are “high yield and low impact” and spend two to three times more than the average visitor.
The working party has also proposed the establishment of an industry advisory group, NZ Golf Tourism, to explore alternative funding streams.
Tourism NZ and the golf working group will discuss its strategy at industry meetings around the country in September and October.