Algarve golf is “€500 million industry”, reveals study

A recent study has found that golf represents a €500 million industry in the Algarve, having generated €370 million from golf-related services alone and created around 16,800 jobs in the region in 2017.

The findings were reported this week by the Algarve’s tourism association (ATA), which commissioned consulting firm PwC to conduct the study.

According to the study, a golfer usually spends around €1,500 in the Algarve and mostly stays at four- and five-star hotels.

The majority of golfers who come here are British (73%) and this is down to the large number of flights linking both destinations, said ATA.

The study also found that 79% of golfers singled out the region’s mild climate as one of the main reasons for choosing the Algarve to play golf, while 59% also praised the quality of the courses.

It also showed that golfers’ spending bolsters much more than just the golf industry coffers and has a direct and indirect positive impact on the local economy, jobs, taxes and trade balances.

As the association explains, there was no concrete data on the golf industry before this study although its huge impact on the tourism sector was already well-established.

ATA president Carlos Gonçalves Luís said the findings prove that golf is an “extremely important economic sector in Portugal, and the Algarve in particular”.

In fact, the Algarve accounts for 70% of all golf rounds played in Portugal. Last year, a total of 1.3 million rounds were played in the Algarve.

A major reason for the Algarve being such a popular destination for golfers is the good weather, practically all year round, which “contributes strongly to the fight against seasonality”, Gonçalves Luís added.

ATA’s executive director Dora Coelho also revealed that golfers who travel to the Algarve tend to be “loyal” to the region, as 87% of those that were queried revealed they had visited the region before.

“This is a very significant sign that golfers are satisfied with the product we offer,” she said.

On a closing note, the president of the association said he was very pleased with the results of the study.

Gonçalves Luís said that not only is the association’s foreign promotion strategy working, but that it has contributed to the “weight and relevance that this industry has on the economy of the region and the country”.

“The information we have collected will be extremely useful to create new opportunities and solutions that will allow us to continue bolstering the excellence of the Algarve as an appealing, all-year-round destination”.

[email protected]