HIGHLAND GOLF CAN TAKE OFF WITH HELP OF KLM FLIGHTS
Fraser Cromarty, Chairman, Highland Golf Links and CEO The Nairn Golf Club
A new Inverness-Amsterdam air service which starts today will further increase interest in the Highlands for golfing visitors.
KLM’s daily year-round service between the Highland capital and Schiphol Airport – one of Europe’s busiest air hubs – will connect to its worldwide network of over 150 destinations, including Montreal, Beijing and Hong Kong.
It follows on from British Airways starting its new year-round daily service connecting Inverness with Heathrow Airport – adding to the existing London Gatwick service, run by Easyjet – which offers another huge incentive for visitors to travel to the Highlands.
Both Schiphol and Heathrow are international travel centres and having Inverness part of these new networks makes the Highlands more accessible and opens up our fantastic golf courses and hospitality providers to a much wider potential audience.
Anecdotal evidence shows the new services have already helped boost golf-related bookings for HGL hotel partners, the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House in Inverness and the Royal Golf in Dornoch and our Play and Stay packages are at record-breaking levels.
HGL’s three world renowned links courses – Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch and Nairn – already attract visitors from around the world and these improved connections will further enhance the ease and the appeal of playing these iconic courses in spectacular settings.
The timing is also ideal for high profile golf events coming to the Highlands. The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open returns to Castle Stuart Golf Links in July, for the fourth time in six years. Bringing a selection of elite world players, and attracting a global TV audience, the event is expected to draw in more than 70,000 spectators and pump around £5 million into the local economy.
In June, Royal Dornoch stages the Northern Open, one of the oldest events in professional golf, during a year in which the town is marking 400 years of golf being played on the famous links.
Later, in August, The Nairn Golf Club is the venue for the 2016 Men’s Home Internationals competition.
In addition, the new routes will help HGL develop markets abroad, including China where we have visited twice in recent years to grow golfing links.
It is felt the Highlands is ideally placed to capitalise on the interest in high world rankings, long history, archetypal links courses and high quality accommodation.
All in all, these new routes are coming on line at a great time for Highland golf.