Drive to get golf top of tourist wish list

By Roger Moroney


Hawke's Bay Tourism looks set to be part of a project aimed at raising the profile of the country's golf tourism industry.

Over the next two months, Tourism New Zealand will put together a working group tasked with developing a long-term "come and play golf here" plan as part of a project to get more "higher value" visitors to the country.

A Tourism New Zealand spokesman said golf was an increasingly popular global activity and there were major opportunities to grow that sector of the industry further.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said the region was well placed to capitalise on the golf market.

"Given we are home to one of the world's top 50 golf courses (Cape Kidnappers) we certainly expect to be involved," she said. "We have some wonderful courses in addition to Cape Kidnappers and can offer something for all levels of golfer."

She said Hawke's Bay Tourism had recognised the lure of the golfing sector and already worked in with the travel trade to ensure the Bay's courses featured in travel agent brochures and itineraries.

It had also recently hosted a group of golf specialist travel agents from the United States through the region - "all about educating travel sellers on what we have available".

She said a recent addition was the development of the "Golf Hawke's Bay" brand which included a brand for all courses to use and a specific map of the location and layout of courses.

Hawke's Bay Tourism had worked in closely with The Farm at Cape Kidnappers to promote the course, the luxury facilities and activities.

American philanthropist Julian Robertson, who developed and owns The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, along with Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort near Mataura Bay, had been instrumental in helping spread the word by bringing two major televised golf challenges involving PGA professionals to the Cape Kidnappers course in 2008 and 2009.

Terry Dineen, who invited Mr Robertson to accept an invitation to become a member of the Hawke's Bay Eagles Golfing Society last year for his services to promoting the region, had no doubts about what had been, and was being, achieved. "People now know where Hawke's Bay is - by building the magnificent Cape Kidnappers he has put the Bay on the map as a premium golfing destination worldwide."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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