Planning implications of golf tourism

Gerda K. Priestley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The development of golf tourism requires the provision not only of one or more golf courses, but also of many other related infrastructures and facilities, obviously including hotels and other forms of property development. As a result, the process of the development of golf as a tourism product generates a profound impact on the location in which it takes place and can provoke conflicts and even imbalances where it is implanted. It is therefore essential to plan golf tourism regions carefully in order to make economic and social objectives compatible and thus contribute to the sustainability of the tourism sector, the product, the territory, the landscape and the local community. The issues examined in this paper include: the advisability of specific legislation for the implantation of golf, and of urban planning; the search for a correct balance between residential and hotel development on the one hand and golf course development on the other; the relative advantages and disadvantages of different types of property development, and its location both on and away from the coast; and the integration of golf courses in the landscape. Golf tourism development faces various challenges in its efforts to comply with the widespread objectives of overall sustainability, which include: economic profitability; long-term viability as a product; environmental integration and improvement; and cultural acceptability. This contribution aims to outline some steps to the achievement of these objectives. Firstly, the structure of golf tourism (from the perspective of its implications for planning) is briefly outlined to set the scene, including an evaluation of the different types of construction that are associated. The concept, objectives and process of tourism planning are outlined, followed by reference to aspects that are particularly applicable to the case of golf tourism. The problem facing planners is then defined. The instruments available and the initiatives and solutions most frequently applied in planning for golf tourism are examined and, finally, some recommendations are offered. © 2006, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-178
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • golf tourism region
  • regional planning
  • sustainable development
  • territorial integration


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