Irish Open’s global success

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THE mayor of Coleraine has hailed last week’s Irish Open Championship as a fantastic success.

More than 130,000 spectators attended the event from Tuesday to Sunday at Royal Portrush’s famous Dunluce links.

Mayor of Coleraine, councillor Sam Cole, said: “The tournament was a resounding success and was enjoyed by over 130,000 spectators on course and televised world wide.

“Council hopes that many of these visitors will return again in the near future to enjoy everything that the North Coast has to offer which includes shopping, hospitality and amazing scenery.”

“Council is delighted with how the logistics and transport management came together; it all made the customer experience a pleasurable one, despite at times the inclement weather.

“The Irish Open Golf tournament provided a real stimulus for regeneration in Portrush in advance of the event. Individuals, businesses and the public sector have all pulled together to give the area a major visual boost.

“Council will continue to enhance Portrush as a tourist destination of choice through a co-ordinated programme of environmental improvement.”

Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster also praised the superb organisation of the event.

“I want to thank Royal Portrush, the European Tour and everyone else involved in helping to bring this event back to Northern Ireland after a nearly 60-year gap.

“Remarkably, and despite having only six months to prepare, people have pulled out all the stops to ensure this tournament was a triumph.” See page 9 and Sport.

“For Northern Ireland, we stand to reap significant benefits to the local economy from the huge crowds that are attending and enjoying the north coast.

“Add in the global TV coverage showing Northern Ireland as a world class golf destination and a place that should be on every tourist’s must-see list and there is no doubt the Executive will receive a great return on its investment.”