Call for golf tourism boost

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Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has said he “hopes both the City Council and wider Lagan Valley locality can cash in on the recent crowd-bursting Irish Open in Newcastle and develop golf tourism in the constituency.”

Councillor Butler said he also hopes World Number One golfer Rory McIlroy can help boost golfing tourism in Lagan Valley.

“Rory is a tremendous ambassador not just for his sport of golf, but for Northern Ireland as a whole and I hope that it will not be too long before be comes to Lagan Valley to play on some of our own courses,” continued Mr Butler.

“Rory’s victories can be the catalyst for significantly growing the local tourism industry in general, and golfing in particular. We also hope that one of the knock-on effects of the Irish Open is to see an increase in the number of locals and tourists coming to Lagan Valley to play golf.

“Tourist spending is down across Northern Ireland as a result of the global recession. This is having a serious impact on local businesses and is putting major challenges in front of the tourism industry.

“We need to maximise the benefit from the Irish Open’s fantastic achievement in terms of crowds by encouraging not only tourists to visit Lagan Valley’s golf courses, but also equally encourage people of all ages to take up this terrific sport.

“We also need to use very constructive role models like Rory as ambassadors for this part of the United Kingdom and as a way of growing our reputation as a destination for golfing tourists.

“Only by doing such things can we achieve the target once set by the Stormont Executive to reach one billion pounds of an annual spend by the tourists visiting Ulster.”