Viability of Golf Estates in Africa

Golf Tourism generates R29.2 billion and creates 50 000 jobs in South Africa. The overall worth across Africa is estimated to be R58.4 billion, writes Jacques Maritz.

“There are 54 million golfers worldwide of which 25% will definitely take golf holidays in the next 12 months and spend 120% more per day in their destination than a general leisure tourist. Golf is not an amenity or an excursion but a primary driver of incremental tourism,” said Peter Walton, President of the Global Golf Tourism Organization (IAGTO).

Golf Tourism statistics collated by Sports Marketing Surveys of SA show that the South African golf industry generated a total revenue of R29.2 billion and created over 50 000 jobs. The overall worth of the industry, including the multiplier effect, is estimated to be R58.4 billion, not to mention the foreign investment in the myriad of Golf Estates on the African continent.

During the annual Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, taking place from 27 to 29 October 2015, at the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice! Menlyn, in the City of Tshwane, the new host city partner, a top selection of speakers have been assembled to debate amongst other subjects, the future of Golf Tourism.

Moderating the session on ‘Commercial Viability of Golf Estates’, is, Eddie Bullock, a Golf Management consultant specialising in golf facility management and a frequent speaker within the golf industry throughout Europe, specialising on future golf club operations. Bullock is a non-executive Board member of Goodwood Estates; member of Golf Club Managers Association of Europe; on the Board of Trustees of The Golf Foundation and featured in 2012 as one of the top 40 most powerful people in British Golf. “While change can be good, it is often met with scepticism, apprehension, and fear. Having the right information available to your club can mean all the difference between the success and failure of a project” says Bullock.

Following the successful hosting of 2010 FIFA World Cup there has been a growing interest in sports tourism in South Africa. More than 10% of foreign tourists come to South Africa to watch or participate in sport events, with spectators accounting for 60% to 80% of these arrivals.

“Golf tourism is an important segment of the overall tourist market, both in terms of volume and spend-per-visitor, because it can drive substantial investment into resort developments, generating substantial economic growth and job creation” said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa.

Additional confirmed expert moderators and panellists include names such as Professor Kamilla Swart, an Associate Professor in the Department of Tourism & Events Management at CPUT; Prof Douglas Michele Turco, Senior Research Associate with Sport Business School, Finland; Gillian Saunders, Partner & Head of Advisory Services at Grant Thornton and John Nauright, a Professor of Sport & Leisure Management at the University of Brighton, UK.

The annual Sports and Events Tourism Exchange is the only event of its kind in Africa and provides a platform that brings together businesses from the Sports, Events & Tourism industries, and encourages collaboration between these sectors, consisting of a two-day conference, table top exhibition and networking events.

The 2015 Sports and Events Tourism Exchange is proudly hosted by the City of Tshwane.

For more information contact Rene Staack [email protected] or call +27(0)11 549 8300 or visit

About the Author: Jacques Maritz is the Media Liaison for SETE and can be contacted on +27 (0)84 444 0775 or via email at [email protected].

About Thebe Reed Exhibitions: Operated as a joint venture between Thebe Tourism Group Pty Limited and Reed Exhibitions, Thebe Reed Exhibitions is Southern Africa’s most forward thinking and successful exhibition and venue management company responsible for exhibitions such as the Africa Travel Week consisting of ILTM Africa, IBTM Africa and WTM® Africa; the Business Entrepreneurship and Franchise Expo; Decorex SA; 100% Design South Africa; the Gauteng Motor Fest; Mediatech Africa and the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE). Thebe Reed Exhibitions aims to provide the best platform for showcasing industries and nurturing business and networking opportunities on the African continent. For more information visit


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