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Experiential tourism: a new trend in golf tourism

A few weeks ago we shared on social media some excerpts taken from an article published in the famous Finnish magazine Honour Golf analyzing the ongoing changes in the golf tourism sector, in particular concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. The interesting article signed by the editor-in-chief Jukka Rimpiläinen takes its cue from the project Italy4golf to outline some behavioural models of golfers on holiday, their new needs and their emerging desires.

Thanks to the kind permission of the author, below we report the full article translated into English.

Luxury tourism has its internal period of enrichment – not materialism!

Italy is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. The history of the area is interesting and there are plenty of attractions. The country is also famous for its design in both automotive and fashion. By combining unique landscapes with food and wine culture, the popularity of tourism can be understood. For us golfers, Italy also offers great golf experiences and that is why Italy4golf is an interesting concept. It allows you to customize your visit down to the last drop.

Tourism will change with the global pandemic, or at least it will be an opportunity. Mass-based tourism will be replaced by tailor-made trips for smaller groups that offer real experiences. – The growing demand for luxury refers to the enrichment and use of one’s own internal time rather than materialism. The demand for wellness and health tourism increases as the population ages and the importance of enjoying well-being increases. Trends in emerging cultural tourism include traditional values, back to basics and “heartspitality“, which suggests the need to feel the “pulse” of a place and become familiar with the local way of life and doing. Source: Business Finland future trends in tourism.

The Italy4golf concept has been built for several years in cooperation with all players in the industry. Experts have put together services that are known to interest customers. There are several authentic experiences that have not been possible to experience before.

What are Italy4golf tours like

Individual travel services are clearly aimed at smaller groups and can be called Premium services. The aim is not to compete with existing players, but to create new demand. We have invested in the presentation of the service on a website where it is easy to find your own points of interest.

With this website, you can choose exactly the destinations and services you want for your trip. For example, after selecting the Lake Garda area, the site will showcase the best attractions, services and previously hidden specialties in that area. It tells you about the best hotels, eateries, wineries and of course golf courses. You can make your choice based on presentations and be confident that the item will meet or even exceed your expectations.

Of course, you can also send a request to the partner travel agency to suggest a travel program based on your wishes. Golf, culture, attractions, experiences and experiences in the desired level of accommodation with the additional services of your choice.

What do travelers want?

Ease and consideration of one’s own wishes, good quality service and new experiences. The problem with regular group trips is that those are always a compromise someone else has made. On self-employed trips, customization is possible, of course, but finding reliable services can be tedious, as can making and securing all bookings. You should be prepared for surprises then.

According to Visit Finland, there are growing trends in tourism, e.g. with the rise of individual tourism, mass tourism is declining, bringing pressure to develop discoverability through digital channels. According to Business Finland, gathering unique travel experiences is getting more important.

Would you be willing to pay more?

Golf tourism is used to the fact that a week’s trip can cost 1000-1400 euros, a point. If something extra is added to the trip and the price goes up, the demand for it drops dramatically. Many tour operators have experience with this. On the other hand, the demand for experiential activities is increasingly affecting the tourism proposals, including those in the golf area. A new trend that has clearly led to an increase in the value of the packages proposed but which is attracting increasing attention and requests.

The content of Italy4golf premium trips is difficult to evaluate in advance when planning a trip. Top-class accommodation and restaurant offerings, private transfers to destinations, the best golf courses, unique services (golf lessons, private visits to special destinations, vineyard visits and tastings, shopping in luxury shops, wellness services, etc.) are things to experience for yourself. For example, private transportation and dinners at the best restaurants can’t even be compared to a “classic” trip. Not to mention vineyard visits and golf courses you wouldn’t even get to otherwise.

After your golf break, do you think it’s wonderful to be at home, or do you remember those moments when you felt like you were the most important person in the world and flooded with moments and landscapes that make your skin stand up every time?

A representative of Italy4golf visited Finland

I first wrote about the Italy4golf tourism concept 4-5 years ago in the magazine Honor-Golf. I had visited Italy on a 4-day golf vacation the same spring and during that trip, we wondered with a local why Italy is not a golf country like Spain?

Through the Italy4golf website, I also got to know one of the project leaders, Alberto Genovesi, with whom we discussed tourism trends and customer expectations. The communication lasted until this summer electronically, but in the summer he came to visit Finland to get to know our golf tourism. We met at Kytäjä Golf during a race event and it was great to exchange ideas face to face.

Italy certainly has a desire to rise alongside other big golfing countries, but they have chosen to do otherwise, offering uniquely tailored tours. Such a concept requires a huge amount of work and networking, and they have international connections to it. Finland’s ambassador is Tero Parkkinen.

From delivery

The Ryder Cup of Golf will be played in Italy in 2023 at the Marco Simone Golf Club and for that reason alone is well worth a visit. Watching TV then you can tell I did a couple of that. Italy4golf has a huge amount to see, experience and especially golf. You will see only a small part of the links within the article.

Jukka Rimpiläinen – Honour Golf Magazine 03-2021

We want to thank Jukka Rimpiläinen, editor-in-chief at GCAF (Golf Course Association Finland) Honour Golf Magazine, for this wonderful article.

Here is the link to the original piece published on the latest Honour-Golf Magazine issue:

Alberto Genovesi, GCAF, Golf Course Association Finland, heartspitality, Honour Golf, Italy4golf, Italy4golf Experiences, Jukka Rimpiläinen, Kytäjä Golf, Marco Simone Golf Club, Ryder Cup, Tero Parkkinen


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