2016 is well on its way to becoming another record-breaking year for the Algarve’s golf courses.
Data from the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA) shows that the number of golf rounds played in the region during the first half of this year reached nearly 700,000 – a 14.9% increase compared to the same period last year.
“These results are very encouraging and we believe the tendency will be for them to grow, namely due to the strong promotion strategy that we are developing in partnership with the private golf tourism industry,” ATA boss Dora Coelho said in a statement.
In 2015, a record 1.2 million golf rounds were played in the Algarve.
For this number to be beaten, the second half of 2016 needs only to match the number of golf rounds played in the first half of the year. If this happens, a total of 1.4 million rounds will have been played.
Coelho explained that most golfers this year have come from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland – considered to be the region’s strongest markets.
Denmark and Sweden have also contributed to the positive results and are considered markets with “potential to grow”, as well as France which this year showed a “large demand” for golf rounds in the Algarve.
ATA stresses that golf is an “extremely important tourist product” for the Algarve, as it “contributes significantly to the fight against seasonality and the region’s dependence on the sun and beach”.
The Algarve boasts around 40 golf courses known for the “quality of their infrastructures” and the “nice climate that allows the sport to be played all year long”, says ATA.
The association adds that golf courses have been able to maintain their quality despite the “adversities that they have faced”, namely their 23% VAT rate levy.