Portugal has famously been one of Europe’s most popular destinations amongst golfers for years. Players converge from all over the world to enjoy the scintillating sun and luscious links that the country has to offer, which means that more and more courses have been built over the years to cater for demand.
[Image from 3DGolf.com]
Alas, golfing authorities became rather overzealous with the apparent boom in popularity of the sport and the supply has now exceeded the demand as a result. Portugal is currently weathering a pretty violent economic storm and would no doubt suffer from further touristic gloom, which means that the popularity of golf in the country is as important as ever.
Holidaymaking golfers are frequently taking advantage of cheap holiday offers to Portugal but, in the midst of the recession, there is a real fear that there isn’t quite enough demand for such breaks. The underuse of golf courses is affecting the estate agents industry, too, which means that the value of proprietary courses on the market is falling because they are so abundant. Perhaps this means that golf in Lisbon and Algarve golf in particular will suffer, but maybe not.
Chris Gooch, a golf course sales expert at Strutt & Parker, commented that the issue is Europe-wide: “In the U.K. and other parts of Europe, such as Ireland, Spain and Portugal, there are too many courses for too few golfers.”
This means that tourist boards in Portugal and around Europe are looking at ways to boost their industries by means of golf. Portugal was recently in the running to host the Ryder Cup in 2018, which, it was estimated in December last year, would have delivered an economic boost of EUR 550 million to the country, but the French bid was ultimately successful.
In more positive news for the Portuguese golfing industry, the country has been selected as the venue for the International Golf Travel Market in November next year. The event brings together suppliers and buyers in golf from all over the world, so it is set to provide a healthy boost for the golfing community and, the tourism board hopes, for the economy of Portugal in the long term.