Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Claims made in a report released yesterday by Celtic Football Club about the value of golf tourism to Scotland’s economy have been dismissed by tourism officials.

A new independent report, prepared by the Fraser of Allander Institute, revealed that the spending of Celtic and their supporters was worth £165m in 2016/17 to the Scottish economy, helping to support the equivalent of 2,820 full-time equivalent jobs in Scotland.

To illustrate the scale of this contribution, the report noted that “other studies have estimated golf tourism’s contribution to Scotland’s GDP is around £155million each year”.

• IN PICS – The 2018 Scottish Golf Tourism Week award winners

• All eyes on Scotland as world’s top tour ops fly in for Tourism Week

A national newspaper subsequently carried the headline “Celtic ‘worth more to Scots economy than golf’” on its front page today.

However, in a statement provided to bunkered.co.uk, that claim has been rejected by a key golf official at VisitScotland, the national tourism agency for Scotland.

“Our industry is continuing to work hard towards achieving an industry ambition of growing the value of golf tourism to Scotland to more than £300m by 2020, and with great collaboration and significant highlights in the coming years, including next year’s Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, we are confident of reaching this ambitious target,” said Alan Grant, Senior Golf Manager at VisitScotland.

Scottish Golf Flag

“The figures produced by Celtic are certainly encouraging for growing
tourism to Scotland and highlights that the impact of tourism spreads
far and wide.

“However, the figures quoted in the press activity over
recent days in relation to golf tourism are inaccurate.

• Catriona Matthew reveals third Solheim vice-captain

• Solheim Cup could spark rise in female golfing visitors

“In its widest sense, the golf industry in Scotland is worth in
excess of £1.1bn annually, supporting more than 20,000 jobs. This
underlines Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf and outlines the key
contribution the industry makes to the Scottish economy.”

More information on the value of golf tourism to Scotland is publicly available here.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses