The Andalusian Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Arturo Bernal, has quantified this Wednesday at more than 500 million euros the direct and indirect economic impact and image of the Solheim Golf Cup, which will be held from September 18 to 24 in Casares (Malaga).
Solheim Cup, golf
During a visit to the Finca Cortesín field, venue for the competition that will pit the women's teams from the United States against Europe, Bernal told reporters that the Solheim Cup is "a huge event" that will position Andalusia "again as a place of reference" in the world of golf.
In addition, he has predicted that this tournament "will generate a new icon: Finca Cortesín, just as Valderrama already is", which in 1997 hosted the Ryder Cup, the men's competition that pits the US against Europe every two years and that "still continues to generate positive effects" to the brand and reputation of the destination.
With more than a hundred courses, "Andalusia is, without a doubt, the home of golf in Europe", stressed the head of Tourism, who recalled that 80% of them are on the so-called 'Costa del golf', located between Malaga and Cadiz.
The Finca Cortesín facilities are "in perfect condition", assured Bernal, who has recognized the "effort" that this complex is making to host the Solheim. A total of 82,000 tickets have been sold to date for this event and half of them have been purchased from the United Kingdom and Ireland, 20% from Spain, another 20% from the rest of the European Union, and around 6% from the US, when the usual average from the latter is 2-3% in competitions held outside the country, he has detailed.
This is an "interesting distribution" for the Board's internationalization strategy in the golf segment, Bernal said. The media impact of the Solheim Cup was initially valued by some consultants at around 20 to 25 million euros, it grew to 150 million a year ago, and "in the latest reports they already place it at 200 million", to which are added about 300 million direct and indirect economic impact of the test.
"In global terms, Solheim is going to have a direct and indirect economic impact, and image, of more than 500 million euros," he specified. The 24 best European players will be present in the competition. In this regard, the counselor has said that the Spanish team has Carlota Ciganda and has hoped to be able to add a second Andalusian player, depending on how she is positioned in these weeks, especially in the British Open.
He has also highlighted the "positive implications" that golf has from the tourist point of view, since it attracts a tourist with an average stay of 11 days and an average daily expense of between 180 and 200 euros per person.
Golf attracts close to a million players a year to Andalusia and generates income of between 1,800 and 2,200 million euros. "It is a sector that has evolved a lot in one of the most critical elements, which is sustainability", said Bernal, who has assured that "no golf course in Andalusia is irrigating with drinking water".
Currently, 80% of the fields irrigate with reclaimed water, and those that do not have the possibilities to do so because "the facilities that the Government of Spain should have prepared have not been finished", are irrigating with non-potable water, he has indicated.