The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 19 September 2008

Sean Connery launches new film
promoting Scotland and Scottish golf

By: Murdoch MacDonald

A FILM aimed at encouraging thousands of golfers to come to Scotland next year to join the Homecoming 2009 celebrations has been officially premiered at the Ryder Cup in Kentucky.

Acting legend Sir Sean Connery has provided the voiceover to the film, which also promotes Scotland’s position as host to the Ryder Cup in 2014 and Scotland's hosting of The Open Championship at Turnberry in Ayrshire next year.

Watch the film: CLICK HERE

The film “Scotland: the Home of Golf” has been developed by EventScotland and VisitScotland to promote Scotland’s golfing product and showcase the country’s reputation and heritage as the birthplace of golf to a global audience.

Helping launch the film in America, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said the US is Scotland’s number one market for golf visitors, with an annual estimate of 45,000 US golfers travelling to Scotland and spending £70 million. Golf tourism generally generates an estimated annual £160 million impact on Scotland’s economy.

Mr Mather also announced details of the “Homecoming Classics“, a series of five competitions at golf courses across Scotland which is set to attract hundreds of golfers from around the world.

And he said that Scottish golf clubs were signing up in growing numbers for “Drive it Home“, an innovative promotion offering visiting golfers a free four-ball slot at courses throughout the country.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “In our drive to build economic opportunities in America, this film will be crucial in helping us to spread the message that Scotland, the home of golf, is ‘open for business.’

“Scotland is not immune from the global economic pressures, but we have significant opportunities to help boost economic growth in the Year of Homecoming 2009.

“Next year - the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns - provides a fantastic opportunity to invite people from around the world, whether they have a family link or an affinity for Scotland, to come home for our ‘Year of Homecoming‘.

“Scotland is the home of golf, and the sport is one of the centrepieces of our homecoming year.

“It is tremendous that Sir Sean Connery has provided the very distinctive and inspirational voiceover for our film. Hollywood’s big name producers couldn’t persuade him out of retirement, but Homecoming has!

“This film will be used by EventScotland, VisitScotland and all the other organisations involved in Homecoming 2009 to drive home the message that people should visit the home of golf not just next year but right up to and beyond the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014.

“For golfers who do visit next year, not only will they be able to watch top-class golf at The Open in Turnberry and at other prestigious tournaments, but they’ll get more opportunities to play our hundreds of courses than they’ve ever had before.

“Clubs the length and breadth of the country are signing up for ‘Drive it Home‘, from Championship courses such as the Dukes course at St Andrews and the new Championship standard Machrihanish Dunes in Kintyre to hidden gems such as Cragielaw in East Lothian and Peterculter Golf Club in the north-east.

“And the more competitive golfer can take part in the renamed ‘Homecoming Classics’ series, five 4-day events held at 20 courses across the country which will showcase the best of Scotland and contribute hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economies.”

Having provided the voiceover, Sir Sean Connery said: “I’ve been a lifelong supporter of golf and Burns, so to combine the two in order to promote Scotland’s year of Homecoming was a real privilege. I hope that the film will do justice to Scotland’s reputation as the home of golf.”

VisitScotland’s chairman Peter Lederer, said: “We are sending an invitation to the world for golf enthusiasts to come and join us in our year long Homecoming celebrations next year.

“The golf DVD and ‘Drive it Home’ initiative gives us a chance to encourage international visitors to experience Scotland, the home of golf, first hand.

“‘Drive it Home’, which is just one of our Homecoming Scotland marketing initiatives, is the largest of its kind we have ever undertaken, giving us a chance to promote Scotland to hundreds of thousands of potential visitors in our key international markets.”

The ‘Drive it Home’ Promotion was developed by VisitScotland as its lead international golf promotion to support Homecoming Scotland 2009 and has the full endorsement of the Scottish Golf Union

‘Drive It Home’ will focus on Scotland’s lead international golf markets of the US, Canada and Sweden. The promotion will also roll-out across all other international Markets

The US is Scotland’s number one market for golf visitors, with an annual estimate of 45,000 US golfers travelling to Scotland and spending £70 million.

Golf tourism generates an estimated annual £160 million impact on Scotland’s economy.

The Homecoming Classics will see 20 golf courses involved across Scotland from Brora in the North Highlands to Dundonald Links in the south-west. Events spread across five areas - North Highlands, Moray Firth, Fife, Ayrshire and East Lothian. The tournaments will have places for more than 1200 golfers. The events tee off in April all the way through to October.

Homecoming Classics will involve partnership with more than 75 different accommodation providers from resort hotels to self-catering properties and will utilise up to 6000 bed nights in quieter tourism periods.

Homecoming Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and is managed by EventScotland, the national events agency, in partnership with VisitScotland, the country's national tourism agency. It aims to engage Scots at home as well as motivate people of Scottish descent and those who simply love Scotland, to take part in an inspirational celebration of our culture, heritage and some of the many great contributions Scotland has given to the world.

2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, with the programme’s design guided by Scotland’s unique position as the home of Burns himself, Golf, Whisky, Great Minds and Innovations, and Scotland’s culture and heritage which lives on at home and through Scotland’s global family.

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