IRISH OPEN: Book early urges NITB

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WITH this year’s Irish Open Golf Championship at Royal Portrush set to be one of the biggest in the competition’s history NITB Chief Executive Alan Clarke has reminded visitors to book their tickets and accommodation now to avoid potential disappointment.

With Ireland’s most prestigious golf tournament still more than five weeks away, the European Tour announced last week that Saturday and Sunday are already almost sold out while ticket sales for the Thursday and Friday aren’t far behind with close to 20,000 tickets sold per day.

A crowd of 100,000 is expected over the four days of the event from Thursday June 28 to Sunday July 1 and accommodation around Portrush has also been selling fast but Alan Clarke reassured visitors, particularly those travelling from the Republic of Ireland, that there are still plenty of rooms available on the Causeway Coast, as well as a range of great package deals with accommodation, tickets and transport included from other parts of the country including Belfast.

“Tickets have been selling faster this year than for many years which is no surprise given the success of our world famous golfing superstars and the fact that the Irish Open is returning to Northern Ireland for the first time in sixty years,” said Clarke.

“With this in mind, I would urge golf fans not to risk turning up on the day and expecting a ticket as they will most likely be disappointed, particularly at the weekend.

“Accommodation is also selling fast but our information is that at this moment there is still capacity in and around Portrush so people should pick up the phone or get online and book their places now before it’s too late.

“The north coast is currently providing good value accommodation in all sectors with Bed and Breakfast available from £25, Self Catering Cottages from £350 per week and Hotels from £45 per person,” he added. “And for anyone on a tight budget, there is also availability in a range of hostels.”

For more information on accommodation offers for the Irish Open as well as details on all of Northern Ireland’s golf courses and other ni 2012 events, click on www.discovernorthernireland.com or www.ni2012.com

Advance day tickets for the Irish Open are available for £30, a saving of £5 on the gate price, with four day season tickets priced at £70, a saving of £10. Advance concession day and season tickets are priced at £20 and £50 respectively. Hospitality packages are sold out for the first two days, but are still available on Saturday and Sunday.