Golf Fans Praised Amid 'Groundbreaking Week' For NI

He may have lifted the Claret Jug, but County Offaly's Shane Lowry isn't the only one basking in the success of The Open, as Royal Portrush and the people of Northern Ireland receive praise for an "unbelievable" tournament.

237,750 spectators and visitors from across the world flocked to the North Coast last week for the major championship which went off without a hitch, in what Tourism NI have hailed as a "ground breaking week for tourism and the economy across Northern Ireland".

The estimated economic benefit to the region is £80 million, including the spend outside of the event and media value.

Tiger Woods praised the local supporters as "absolutely fantastic" and described the golf course, which broke attendance records, as "unbelievable".

Tourism NI said all players, in particular winner Shane Lowry and local favourites Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, received phenomenal support from fans with high profile visits made along the Causeway Coast as a number of international golfers took in the attractions on their doorstep for the week.
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Speaking after the presentation of the iconic Claret Jug, Chief Executive of Tourism NI John McGrillen said: "Royal Portrush has not only broken records as the first ever Open to completely sell out, and the biggest Open ever to be held outside St Andrews, but also for the poetic story of the Championship's historic return after such a long absence, our stunning scenery and our incredibly warm and welcoming people. With this in mind, Shane Lowry's win today seems to have been written in the stars.

"Along with everyone else in the tourism industry here, I am very confident that The Open will be back soon and that tourism has a very exciting future ahead thanks to how Portrush, the Causeway Coast and Glens and the whole of Northern Ireland has delivered."

Mr McGrillen commended the team at Tourism NI, and everyone involved in the efforts, including volunteers, marshals, staff, bus and taxi drivers and accommodation providers to colleagues across Government, the PSNI, Translink, Roads Service, emergency services, Council, and The R&A. "They have been the embodiment of teamwork since 2015," he added. "It has been a privilege to play our role and immensely rewarding to deliver such an incredible event for Northern Ireland."

Broadcast coverage of The Open reached 600 million households worldwide, with 634 journalists and 1750 TV personnel covering the event for 44 countries.

Tourism NI hosted 80 golf operators from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK and Republic of Ireland, with many golf operators also bringing guest buyers to the tournament. Over 100 additional golf journalists and social influencers were also hosted in 2019 alone in the run up to The Open.  


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