South Africa’s world-class golf courses – with unique offerings, locations in stunning landscapes, and rich cultural experiences – were showcased at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Lisbon this week (October 16-19).
IGTM is a bespoke trade show for golf destinations, resorts, and courses. It provides exhibitors with the opportunity to connect with leading global golf travel agents and tour operators who help grow the world’s outbound tourism market.
South African Tourism hosted exhibitors on its stand, with Zinhle Nzama, Acting Chief Conventions Bureau Officer at SA Tourism, emphasising the significance of this participation. “Participating in IGTM is a testament to our commitment to promoting South Africa as a premier golf tourism destination.”
Nzama said SA Tourism was “diligently working” towards positioning the country as a premier golfing destination. “With a diverse range of golf courses encompassing coastal links and those nestled against picturesque mountains and savannahs, South Africa offers a golfing experience unparalleled elsewhere.”
She added that the country’s mild climate ensured year-round playability, with the summer months, from November to March, being particularly popular among golfers.
Nzama highlighted the economic impact of golf tourism, pointing out that it significantly contributed to the local economy by attracting tourists who spend on accommodation, food, transportation, and other services. “This increased revenue supports local businesses and creates job opportunities, enriching the entire tourism value chain.”
She further underlined the importance of collaboration within the tourism sector. “We are immensely grateful for the collaboration exhibited by the tourism sector in growing our industry. We continue to welcome this spirit of partnership with the industry as we collaborate to provide visitors and domestic travellers with the best our country has to offer through our quality-assured accommodations, high service excellence across various experiences, and our award-winning restaurants and culinary offerings.”
This year, the global golf tourism market is estimated at around US$4.76bn, and is expected to grow to US$6.07bn in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3%, according to report by the world’s largest market research store, Research and Markets.
“South Africa's position within this framework is still unknown and something we are working towards estimating. We must be cognisant that the total estimation extends beyond the generated golf revenue. It also encompasses the additional revenue streams accompanying the arrival of golf tourists, spanning hospitality and non-golfing activities and more,” said SATSA Golf Chair, Carl Reinders, in a recent interview with Tourism Update,
“Despite the exceptional quality and value South Africa offers to golf enthusiasts, it remains mostly unknown on the global stage. The untapped opportunity for growth within this segment is enormous,” added Reinders.