A new report by European Tour Destinations and LANDMARK reveals three trends set to shape the future of golf tourism.

After grinding to a near halt during the pandemic, global demand for travel is on the rise again. And experts now predict that the industry will return ­to – or even exceed – pre-pandemic levels this year.

That’s great news for golf tourism. But are post-COVID travellers demanding something different from their golf trips?

According to a recent publication by European Tour Destinations and LANDMARK, the answer is “yes”.

The report identifies three key trends that are set to dominate the travel industry in 2023 and shape the future of golf tourism:

  • The pursuit of wellness
  • Digital nomads
  • Eco travel

The pursuit of wellness

Wellness might well be the word du jour, but it’s also big business. Now a multi-trillion dollar industry, more of us than ever before is opting for breaks that enable us to really unplug for a while.

The pandemic forced us all to re-evaluate what’s important – like our health and wellbeing. We switched off, slowed down and spent more time than ever outside. We adopted a slower way of living. And we liked it.

That thinking could be behind golf’s recent boom. And it’s almost certainly moving golf resorts higher up the list when it comes to deciding where to stay on holiday.

“Regenerative travel and self-care are on the rise as tourists seek to switch off from their fast-paced, digital-intense lifestyles and reconnect with the calm, stabilising qualities of nature. This is increasingly reflected in the decisions they make about where and when to go, and the types of amenities that resonate with this new era of demands.”

Digital nomads

From “quiet quitting” and the Great Resignation, to remote working and homeschooling; the pandemic undoubtedly transformed the daily grind for almost all of us.

And so was born the “Digital nomad”: People with the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world.

“Remote – or at least hybrid – working is here to stay, and is fuelling the thirst for longer trips, more temperate climates and multi-generational travel, as well as a demand for self-catering accommodation that resembles a home from home”, the report states.

Add to that the “you only live once” mentality spurred on by the pandemic, and you have a whole generation of people looking for so much more from their 9 – 5.

Like the opportunity to seamlessly blend work and leisure. Think conference calls in the clubhouse in the morning, lunch on the beach then nine holes in the afternoon.

Golf clubs and resorts are optimally positioned to appeal to digital nomads and attracting them requires very little investment. Most will have the facilities already, it’s just a question of marketing and smart communication.

Eco travel

We’re all becoming more eco-conscious, and travellers are no exception.

“A recent YouGov survey indicated that 53% of consumers look for sustainable options when travelling, with the same proportion willing to pay more for a sustainable holiday.”

Golf is already making positive moves in the sustainability space, with initiatives like Sustainable Golf Week accelerating efforts to build a greener future for the game.

Now the industry has an opportunity to capitalise on those efforts and use them to grow golf tourism.

“Golf destinations are already making moves to be ahead of the eco-curve. Not just because it makes sense that the added investment will earn the respect, business and loyalty of discerning consumers but because now, more importantly, it’s good for the planet.”

Need some inspiration for your next golf holiday? Check out our bucket list courses.