Bord Failte has signed top Irish golfer, Padraig Harrington, to promote Irish Golf Tourism throughout the world in a multi-year agreement. The announcement was made today by Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O'Donoghue T.D.
This is a significant partnership between Ireland and one of its greatest sports stars. Golf tourism has proved a very important growth sector in recent years and with the great showpiece of the Ryder Cup coming to these shores in 2006, Padraig will prove a most effective advocate of golfing in Ireland and also the wider Irish holiday," the Minister said.
The Minister congratulated Padraig and his fellow Irish stars, Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke on their role in winning the Ryder Cup for Europe at the Belfry last month. Padraig immediately followed this success by winning the Dunhill Links Championship. He is currently sixth in the World rankings and third on the Volvo Order of Merit, making him Ireland's leading player.
As part of the deal Padraig will sport a Golfing in Ireland logo on his golf bag, appear in various media advertising campaigns promoting Irish golf tourism and support various Irish Golf Tourism events around the world. He will also contribute to Bord Failte golfing literature and promote Bord Failte on his personal website.
It is always great to be associated with something you believe in. I am passionate about Ireland, its golf courses and related attractions. I am delighted to have been selected as a spokesperson and promoter of Irish golf tourism by Bord Failte and look forward to representing them in the future”, said Padraig.
"This is a great time for golf in Ireland, especially following the great performances by Padraig and the other Irish players in winning the Ryder Cup for Europe last month. We are all now focused on bringing the Ryder Cup to Ireland in 2006 and our partnership with Padraig will enable us to highlight everything about the wonderful golf product we have on offer in this country", said Bord Failte acting Chief Executive, Niall Reddy.
"Padraig is not just a great golfer, but one of the most charismatic as well. He has proved a great promoter of Ireland in the past, speaking passionately his country at every opportunity. This partnership is a natural way of formalising an already strong relationship", said Mr Reddy.
Golfing holidays are worth an estimated &euro144 million to the Irish economy annually and the growth of their popularity has helped increased the regional spread of visitors to the country. In 2000, some 219,000 overseas visitors took part in golfing activities. There are 406 GUI registered golf courses in Ireland.