13th January 2014
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Mayor of County Cork is delighted that Fota Island Golf Resort had secured the
contract to host the Irish Open golf tournament in June.
Fota Island Resort, which was recently purchased by Chinese investors The Kang Group Worldwide.
Welcoming the tourism and prestige boost for Co Cork Cllr O’Connor said
“The 2012 event at Royal Portrush smashed European Tour attendance
figures attracting 131,000 visitors and if the event in Fota can
attract close to those figures, it will mean a massive spin off for
the Cork region”
“It will be wonderful to see Ireland’s golden
generation of golfers: Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig
Harrington and Darren Clarke as well as a host of other international
stars play at Fota.”
Cllr O’Connor said he was proud of the fact that Cork County Council
was in a position to support the staging of the event through its
Economic Development Fund and added.
“The Irish Open in Cork will
provide a massive opportunity to showcase Cork as a place to visit to
a global audience through worldwide television coverage over the four
days of the tournament.”
Golf is one of Ireland’s most important tourist activities. Around
160,000 overseas visitors take part in golf during their visit to
Ireland every year, contributing €202 million to the economy. The
Irish Open is a great advertisement for Irish golf, showcasing our
beautiful scenery, world class courses and facilities and warm and
friendly people. And this year we can look forward to watching the
event at one of Ireland’s most beautiful golf courses in Fota.
With more than 400 courses on the island, including over 30% of the
world’s links courses, golf is a significant draw for overseas
visitors to Ireland and Fáilte Ireland view the Irish Open as a
significant vehicle for marketing the country to golfers all around
Rory McIlroy welcoming the decision said “The country’s National Open
should be moved around to give everyone an opportunity to see the
event, and it also gives us the chance to show the world just how many
amazing courses there are in Ireland.
“Fota Island will be an exciting venue for the Irish Open, and exactly
the kind of place to showcase what Ireland has to offer as a golf
Jonathan Woods, Chief Executive Officer at Fota Island Resort, said:
Since the last two occasions Fota Island Resort hosted the Irish Open,
back to back in 2001 and 2002, so many significant investments and
developments have taken place at the Resort itself and with our golf
courses and facilities.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to reintroduce the players,
the public and the world’s press to Fota Island Resort and to what is
now a world-class, international golf venue. The Irish Open will be an
enormously important event for tourism in Cork and the surrounding
area, which is not just an added bonus for Fota Island Resort but for
the whole region too.
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “Having
hosted two Irish Opens at the Fota Island Resort, we are delighted to
be able to bring the Irish Open back to this superb venue.
“The new owners of the Fota Island Resort – The Kang Family – have
impressive ambitions. By securing the 2014 Irish Open they will now
be able to showcase their resort and the beautiful surroundings of
County Cork to the world via The European Tour’s global television
Advance tickets for the 2014 Irish Open are on sale now at a specially
discounted price of €25 for Adult Day Tickets and €50 for Adult Season
Tickets (concessions €15 and €30).
A limited number of tickets at those discounts – saving up to €10 for
a day pass and €20 for a season – on the gate prices are currently
available on a first come first served basis. Golf fans are encouraged
to apply now for tickets on www.europeantour.com/tickets