16 May 2022

Fáilte Ireland highlights importance of golf tourism as Dubai Duty Free Irish Open tees off in Kilkenny

Competition is under way today


The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open returns to the Mount Juliet Estate in Ireland’s Ancient East for the fourth time

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open gets under way today at Mount Juliet, and Fáilte Ireland is using its sponsorship of the event to highlight the importance of golf tourism to the national economy and showcase Ireland as a world-class golfing destination.

Pre-Covid-19 golf tourism was a hugely lucrative sector in Ireland generating €300 million in revenue and accounting for 1.6million bed nights. According to Fáilte Ireland a golf visitor typically spends three times more than the average leisure tourist with most of the spend going directly into local economies on non-golf expenditure such as accommodation, transport and food and beverage.

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is one of 15 test events proceeding with spectators as agreed by the Government. Spectators will return to the island of Ireland’s national open for the first time since 2019, while a global TV audience of up to 350million will have the opportunity to watch the event on over 30 global broadcast channels. This massive global audience will showcase Ireland over the next four days as a premier golfing destination.

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open returns to the Mount Juliet Estate in Ireland’s Ancient East for the fourth time and players Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell will compete.

Speaking on the importance of golf tourism to Ireland, Head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland Paul Mockler said:

“Golf has always played a significant role in Irish tourism and it is important that we do all we can to ensure Ireland’s identity as a world class golf destination is maintained through these challenging times.  Hosting a global event such as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, gives Ireland an opportunity to do that.

"Ireland is world-renowned for our high-quality golf courses and the fact that in pre-Covid times we welcomed over 200,000 golf tourists each year is testament to this. Vitally, the spread of golf courses around the country offers a significant opportunity to drive tourism growth to all regions of Ireland and supports an extension of the tourism season – key focus areas of our work at Fáilte Ireland as we prepare for recovery.”

Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland Brian O’Flynn said:

“Hosting sporting events such as the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is hugely important for Irish tourism as it creates a legacy that will be a draw for visitors for years to come and gives us the opportunity to showcase our country to an international audience.  

Although in-person spectators at this year’s Irish Open will be in smaller numbers than previous years, the event will be broadcast to over 350 million homes worldwide. Viewers will be given a taste of just how spectacular Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny and Ireland’s Ancient East are, and this will inspire future international leisure and golf trips when it is safe to do so.”

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will run from July 1-4 at the Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny.

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