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Tourism boom links to Castle Stuart's role

Tourism boom links to Castle Stuart’s role

Global television exposure worth more than £53 million is expected to bring a golfing tourist boom for the Highlands next year.

Spectacular TV pictures of the area around Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness were beamed to more than 500 million households around the world during the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July.

A new report detailing the success of the event shows media coverage penetrated across the US, Europe, South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

The tournament broke new ground by being the first regular European Tour event to be shown live on a major United States TV broadcast network following a landmark agreement signed with NBC which complemented coverage on the Golf Channel.

NBC broadcast two-and-a-half hours of live coverage on each of the final two days’ play from Castle Stuart which culminated in American Phil Mickelson winning the trophy after a dramatic play-off against South African Branden Grace.

Sky Sports also aired eight hours a day of play from Castle Stuart, while the BBC carried highlights of the event. In all, 42 broadcasters worldwide screened pictures of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, reaching a potential 526.5 million households, the bulk of those in Asia Pacific (275 million), followed by North America (118 million) and Europe 76.3 million).

The coverage is estimated to be worth the equivalent of £53,247,845

The event, featuring six Major winners and 21 Ryder Cup players, attracted over 65,000 spectators to the Inverness links. It was the third year in succession the event was held at Castle Stuart which will host again in 2016. In 2014 it will move to Royal Aberdeen.

Castle Stuart Golf Links is part of Highland Golf Links (HGL), a partnership of leading courses and hotels, that also includes The Nairn Golf Club and Royal Dornoch Golf Club as well as the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House Hotel, Inverness; the Royal Golf Hotel at Royal Dornoch and the Golf View Hotel and Spa in Nairn, to promote destination breaks.

Fraser Cromarty, sales and marketing director at Castle Stuart Golf Links and chairman of HGL, said: “The viewing figures are spectacular and can only enhance the reputation of the Highlands of Scotland as a major golfing destination.

“Pictures from Castle Stuart, and the Highlands in general, have been beamed into peoples’ living rooms across the world and we know that golfers are already planning visits here after seeing our wonderful location during such a prestigious occasion.”