Next on the list of speakers was Mr. Carl Reinders (2nd from the right) in his capacity of the Garden Route Regional Representative of SAGTA. He (re)introduced the audience to the golf tourism industry South Africa. And compared with other golf tourism destinations worldwide there are a few things which make golf in South Africa unique:
- our nature and natural beauty;
- our infrastructure and quality thereof;
- its people and distinct cultures; and
- the variety of available ‘adventures’ to complement the golf.
What makes it even more spectacular is that within South Africa different golfing destinations can be identified, each with their own specific character. There is ‘Golf on the Wild Side’ in Gauteng including Sun City and area around the Kruger Park and the Limpopo province. There is what SAGTA calls the ‘Sunshine Capital’ of the Wild Coast in KwaZulu Natal including its provincial capital of Durban. The next area identified as a superb golfing destination is the Western Cape of ‘Extraordinary Choices’ including Cape Town, the Winelands and the Overberg region and last but not least the Garden Route and Eastern Cape or in short: ‘SA’s Golfing Eden’. As said earlier, each region has a specific ‘flavor’ to it, so even if one had been to South Africa before (coming back to Peter Walton’s statistic of 70% of travelling golfers wanting to explore new destinations every time they go on golfing holidays – see Golf tourism and its future in South Africa Part 1), this country simply has too much to offer to cover it all in one trip.
What’s even more unique in South Africa, is that we – as a country – host more international golf events than any other country worldwide. Worldwide! Now think about: there are more than 500 golf courses in South Africa, but there are over 17,000 courses in the United States, 6,500 courses in the whole of Europe. The United States has more than 25 million active golfers, Europe has 4.4 million registered players, South Africa an estimated 500,000. Yet we host seven (7!) events which are part of the European Tour, including the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge (to be held at the Gary Player Golf Course at Sun City in early December this year), the Africa Open, the SA Open , the Nelson Mandela Trophy and the Dunhill Cup, to name a few.
Now who would not want to play those very same courses where their heroes play?
Want to know what happened next? Golf tourism and its future in South Africa, Part 3 – click here