Scotland Seeks Golfers

EventScotland, VisitScotland Enterprise and Scottish Development International have signed a three-year, 550,000 deal with The Open Championship. The groups will launch a new marketing campaign at this year's British Open at St Andrews. Incorporating the iconic Claret Jug logo, the campaign will continue at future Opens at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and Carnoustie in 07.

Tourism Minister Patricia Ferguson said of the marketing effort: "Golf tourism is big business in Scotland, plowing 300 million annually into our economy. I confirmed this morning that the Executive and its agencies have agreed a 550,000 three-year deal with The Open Championship.

"We have some of the world's finest courses and this new marketing campaign allows us to build on that richly deserved reputation. Additionally we will support the largest research study ever undertaken at The Open to find out, in monetary terms, the value of hosting this magnificent tournament in Scotland. I want to ensure that Scotland is a must-visit destination for the world's golfers, their friends and families.

David Hill, the Royal & Ancient Director of Championships, said of the plan: "We know an association with The Open Championship is good for business and we look forward to working with the Executive to deliver the greatest possible benefit for Scotland from the event."

David Williams, Chief Executive of EventScotland, commented: "EventScotland has secured the support of VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International to create more opportunities from The Open. This means we have a number of vehicles to promote business-to-business networking and to further promote Scotland as the unrivalled home of the game."

Philip Riddle, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: "Golf is a crucial element of Scotland's tourism industry with golfing visitors spending, on average, twice as much as others. This is also about underlining the sheer quality of our award winning national golfing provision."

Jack Perry, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: "Mention Scotland to anyone you meet across the world and it's a certainty that golf will be among the top images it conjures up. We are keen to use that positive image to open thousands of visitors' eyes to the many other good things Scotland has to offer and there is no better platform for this than the World's top golf tournament, The Open."

The marketing campaign will see the creation of an exhibition area in The Open tented village backed by an advertising campaign. The Open Championship ranks with Wimbledon as being among the world's largest annual televised sports event, with a broadcast reach in excess of 400 million households. The 2005 Open at St Andrews is expected to attract 200,000 spectators, including at least 10,000 from overseas.

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