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Golf Resort Business Moving Out of the Rough

62% of Resorts Surveyed by Knowland Have Seen a Recent Increase in Golf Bookings

McLean, VA, 2/16/11 – The Knowland Group, the world’s largest data firm in the global meetings and conventions industry, recently conducted a survey of golf resorts across the United States. While 45 percent reported seeing a drastic reduction in golf resort bookings over the last two years, the survey shows business is on the upswing. 62 percent said golf bookings are on the rise, with a vast majority of those classifying the increase as moderate or large.
With the combination of the economic downturn and scandals like AIG, many golf resorts saw a large drop in their business the last few years. While 45 percent said they saw a drastic reduction, even more surveyed acknowledged some decrease in golf bookings. One resort in Arizona admitted having a number of government cancellations simply because their name contained the word ‘resort’, which would show up on expense reports and cause public outcry. Of those who reported a drastic reduction, 4 percent said they removed words such as ‘spa’ and ‘resort’ from their name, 28 percent launched a new ad campaign, 31 percent offered alternatives to golf packages, and 37 percent used other methods to combat the loss, including slashing rates.
“The highly vocal negative perception of golf events has finally started to fade,” said Knowland CEO Michael K. McKean. “Resorts can once again be proactive in pursuing corporate, government, and SMERF business by offering golf packages as an added amenity.”
Directors of Sales at golf resorts across the country are even more optimistic about the future of golf business. 74 percent of those surveyed said they thought golf bookings would increase in 2011. Most have also learned the important lesson of diversification – 75 percent now offer other recreational activities besides golf.
This Knowland survey was conducted from January 31-February 3, 2011. The full survey results can be found below.

1.  After AIG and similar scandals, did you have a large number of golf cancellations?

a.    Yes - 24%
b.    No - 76%

2.  Did you see a drastic reduction in golf resort bookings the last two years?

a.    Yes - 45%
b.    No - 55%

If so, what if anything did you do to combat this loss in golf resort business?

a.    Launch a new ad campaign - 28%
b.    Remove words such as "spa" and "resort" from your name - 4%
c.    Offer alternatives to golf packages - 31%
d.    Other - 37%

3.  Have you had an increase in golf bookings recently?

a.    Yes - 62%
b.    No - 38%

If so, how would you rate that increase?

a.    Large increase - 12%
b.    Moderate increase - 53%
c.    Minimal increase - 35%

4.  Do you see golf bookings increasing in 2011?

a.    Yes - 74%
b.    No - 13%
c.    Unsure - 13%

5.    Do you offer other recreational activities for non-golfers?

a.    Yes - 75%
b.    No - 25%
About The Knowland Group
The Knowland Group is a proven innovator, developing intuitive marketing products and services that streamline and support event and group sales in the hospitality industry. The company, headquartered in McLean, VA, serves over 3,000 hotel clients and 20,000 users globally. Knowland was ranked as the fifth fastest growing software company (public or private) in North America by Deloitte and the second fastest growing private company in the travel industry for both 2009 and 2010 by Inc. Magazine. For more information, visit, call 410-860-2270, or follow us on Twitter @knowlandgroup.

Megan Tate
Communications Manager
The Knowland Group
(703) 286-0852

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