Scotland business

Scottish Open golf events boost North Ayrshire economy

Mi Hyang Lee of Korea playing the final day of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links Image copyright AlLSPORT/Getty Images
Image caption There was a strong international field for the Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, which was won by South Korean Lee Mi-hyang

Two major golf events have given a £4m boost to the North Ayrshire economy, the local council has estimated.

Dundonald Links hosted both the men's and women's Scottish Open in July, attracting more than 60,000 spectators to the Irvine golf course.

North Ayrshire Council said it expected local hotels, restaurants and traders to report an increase in visitors.

"Longer-lasting benefits" are also anticipated through exposure to an international TV audience.

The Scottish Open - won by Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello - attracted top players such as Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson.

There was also a strong international field for the Ladies Scottish Open, which was won on Sunday by South Korean Lee Mi-hyang.

'Huge success'

North Ayrshire cabinet member Alex Gallagher said it was hoped the golf events would "create a real legacy".

He said: "This has been a fantastic month of sport for North Ayrshire and a huge success on every level.

"By showing that we can host events such as these, it puts North Ayrshire on map and shows what we can offer to a worldwide audience."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rafa Cabrera-Bello won the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links earlier this month

He added: "We've recently employed an international trade and investment manager and we are really pushing hard to develop new international markets.

"Having world-class events like these on our doorstep gives us an ideal opportunity to bring business and investors to the area.

"While a lot of the focus was on the superb golf being played during both the men's and the ladies' tournaments, it was the perfect setting to showcase what North Ayrshire has to offer and to create new business and investment opportunities that could benefit the area for years to come."

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