Though 45 percent of U.S. golf resorts reported seeing a drastic reduction in bookings over the past two years, 62 percent said golf bookings are on the rise, with a vast majority of those classifying the increase as moderate or large. These are the results of a recent survey conducted by data firm The Knowland Group.
The company says that the combination of the economic downturn and scandals like AIG caused many golf resorts to see a large drop in business. Beyond the 45 percent that witnessed drastic reductions, even more acknowledged some decrease in bookings, with one Arizona resort noting that a number of government events were canceled simply because their property name contained the word "resort."
Of those who reporting a drastic reduction, 4 percent said they removed words such as "spa" and "resort" from their name, 28 percent launched new ad campaigns, 31 percent offered alternatives to golf packages and 37 percent used other methods to combat the loss, including slashing rates.
“The highly vocal negative perception of golf events has finally started to fade,” said Knowland CEO Michael K. McKean. “Resorts can once again be proactive in pursuing corporate, government and SMERF business by offering golf packages as an added amenity.”
Knowland also found that directors of sales at golf resorts are even more optimistic about the future of golf business, with 74 percent believing golf bookings would increase in 2011. Seventy-five percent say they have diversified and now offer other recreational activities besides golf.