What do women want from their golf travel?
I am frequently asked what can hotels and golf courses do to attract this evolving audience of golfers. Asked to write for the IGTMarket website run by Reed Exhibitions, this is what I had to say:
Whilst women’s equality on the golf course and equal playing rights remains a priority for most progressive businesses wishing to embrace this focussed audience, women’s golf travel still remains a bit of an untapped marketplace, but growing in popularity with golf tour operators now seeing this as a worth while and lucrative focus.
As a former golf tour operator, safety and security whilst traveling was and should be an uncompromising given.
Speaking to industry experts and ladies who travel this is what else needs to be factored in to please this discerning group of emerging golfers:
- Cost factors highest of all to the ladies asked. In this day and age when money is a contributing factor, women are just as shrewd with their money and how they choose to spend it.
- Ladies like to join groups; these can be mixed groups or all ladies, but the friendlier the better. They also like to travel with their own groups of friends, so long as they have their friends they are comfortable despite being in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Weather; it is true that some ladies like to play bucket list courses, they do want the tick in the box, but importantly they also want a break from the norm – a holiday, so it isn’t surprising that weather features quite high.
- An interesting response came back to my question about how clients were found. In the industry the overwhelming responses was that it was word of mouth, social media helps enormously but the same question asked of the booking clients was that they shop around for their golf trips
- I’m often asked should we provide shopping for the ladies? Golf is the main reason for travelling, so it makes sense that this is the common goal for most. However, a nice hotel with a good spa facility or shopping near by is more of a consideration, but the best thing is to let them have the choice by offering alternative activities, and don’t just limit it to spa and shopping – explore gin and cava tastings, good restaurants, and alternative golf courses that are friendly and welcoming for women to enjoy.
Know your audience and they will reward you with booking, offer them off the shelf packages and they might shop around. Help her think about what she would want for her golf travel and work with her to make sure it works for all her group. Put yourself in her shoes.
Sarah Forrest is a campaigner for women’s golf travel. She now writes and consults on this subject working alongside venues and businesses globally to enable them to be more women friendly and attract more ladies and families into their resorts.