Italy the untold golf tourism destination…


By: February 3, 2019


At the latest IGTM in Ljubljana, Slovenia I tried to discover the less popular golf destinations among them Italy.

I found only 25 companies representing Italy, including DMCs, golf resorts, golf travel agencies, and hotels.

All this while Italy has got:

  • 242 golf courses (Source: KPMG) or 257 golf courses (Source: Leadingcourses.com): out of them 141 golf courses are 18-hole golf courses;
  • 3 professional male players & 2 female players in the European TOP100.
  • Milano is the #9 city in Europe in terms of International Arrivals in 2017; Source: 2018 Euromonitor International;
  • Rome is the #4 city in Europe in terms of International Arrivals in 2017; Source: 2018 Euromonitor International;
  • In 2015, Italy had the 3rd biggest number of coastal integrated golf resorts in the European Mediterranean region: 25 (most of them are hotel focused; Source: KPMG).
  • On the Italian Ministry of Tourism website, there was no up-to-date information on golf tourism.
  • Italy is the most desired destination in the world: 37% of the population would choose this country for “premium” holidays abroad (41% among the upper classes), followed by the US (32%) and Australia (31%). (Source: from the ” Be-Italy” survey commissioned by ENIT – National Tourism Agency – at the IPSOS research institute;
  • 11 golf tour operators are member of IAGTO.

We can say that Italy has got everything to become a successful golf destination.

Not to mention the obvious reasons like the culinary (much beyond pizzas and coffees!), cultural or even automotive (Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari) experiences.

franciacorta-golf-club-corte-franca-brescia-Italy

I have to agree with Andrew Davis, bestselling author of Town Inc. who said travel is one of the only industries where the place you do business matters just as much as the business you do.

The Italian golf clubs and golf resorts at least don’t have to worry about of their locations.

However, to build the Italian golf tourism industry they need to make extra efforts since the country is not people’s mind as a golf holiday destination.

2 years ago, there was a big international promotional campaign called Italy Golf & More to attract golf tourists to Italy and establish Italy as a top golf destination.

This campaign seems to be like a sudden flare and nothing more. I can’t see any further & follow-up actions or even smart content development.

When I was collecting insights and data for this article, I had to realize that there is not enough information about Italian golf clubs and resorts. I hardly found any useful information, even on the website of the Italian Tourism Board.

Verdura Resort golf course Italy

I am not saying that it is impossible to find information about the Italian golf clubs and golf resorts, but only a very limited amount.

We are living in a content tsunami where we have a plethora of information about various golf destinations, golf clubs, and golf resorts from around the world.

The challenge is how to create content that distinguishes the golf experiences a country or a golf club/resort can offer & visible enough in search engines and in social media.

These contents should motivate bookings and not just “lookings”!!

Italy to be able to become a real golf tourism destination and exploit its potentials, she needs to create the right content that can help golf tourists’ planning process – from collecting inspiration to golf holiday booking – simpler.

Toscana Resort Castelfalfi_view of the valley in Italy

Italy4golf – Italian golf tourism promotion in a new way

Recently, I cam across with a new approach/concept how to make Italy as an attractive golf destination.

Unlike Italy Golf & More, Italy4golf.com is showing Italy as a complex golf tourism destination where you can have a meaningful holiday.

I assume it happened to you as well that after playing a few rounds of golf and enjoying the wellness services of the resort you asked yourself what can I do more here.

They are giving a tool for the golf tourist to gain a complete understanding about what kind of experiences they can find not just in the golf club, but in the region (e.g. golf courses, hotels, restaurants, museums, theatre, wellness, spa, tourist attractions) as well.

I was also happy to find a high definition virtual tour feature that helps us to have a 360-degree of the golf resort or the golf club.

Italy4golf.com is trying to help golf tour operators and golf clubs and resorts by enabling them to manage their own profile (including uploading photos, videos).

I hope the developers will enable in the future users to share their experiences or even rate the golf resort or golf club where they had spent their golf holiday.

I cannot avoid not mentioning the importance of SEO and content distribution to gain visibility and awareness in search engines and social media.

My other recommendations for Italy4golf.com:

  • Promote your services by using Facebook & Instagram ads, Google ads etc.
  • Engage in social media with golfers who are interested/open to playing golf in Italy.
  • Use content promotion networks like Sumo, Hootsuite Amplify, Quuu, Outbrain etc.