It’s been a long two years for all of us, and we have certainly felt it in the travel industry. Of course there are more important issues in the world these days, but our colleagues and we were really looking forward to the return to some sort of normal in order for people to travel again, so that we could get back to doing what we love to do…putting together memorable experiences for our clients.
So it was an emotional – and more importantly optimistic – experience last month when we returned as an industry to the Scottish Golf Tourism Week in one of my favourite places in the world, St Andrews. The mood among the suppliers and tour operators at the event was very positive as we look forward to a great rebound year in 2022.
The week included a great familiarisation trip for each of the tour operators – mine was to Dundee and Angus, more on that in the next article in this newsletter – and a couple of days of meetings with suppliers to catch up on changes since we last met over two years ago. Lots has changed in Scotland, as the suppliers are always improving their product to keep up with the Jones’s, but much remains the same. Scotland is still one of the best golf travel destinations in the world. From the iconic Auld Grey Toon of St Andrews, to the remote and quaint town of Dornoch, to the great golf region of Ayrshire, Scotland has so much to offer.
There have been some incredible upgrades to properties, most notably from the Marine and Lawn group of hotels. They purchased three of the top golf hotels in Scotland – the Marine Hotel in Troon, Marine Hotel in North Berwick and the Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews. Our clients have enjoyed the Rusacks Hotel for many years as it remains our go to hotel in town. But now it’s a whole new experience. It has maintained the old school charm in the original building, while introducing a new wing to the hotel that modernises the rooms and amenities, and provides a true 5 star hotel experience adjacent to the 18th hole of the Old Course. The most impressive addition to the hotel is the 18 at Rusacks, a roof-top bar with one of the most incredible views in the golfing world.
I can’t express enough how lucky we are to have such loyal clients and incredible partners in the industry that have supported us through the past two years. It has been a tough go, but the week I spent in St Andrews last month showed me that we are truly turning the corner and the next few years should provide the opportunity for us to grow and continue to show off the best golf destinations in the world to our great client base. We look forward to an incredible 2022 for all of us.