It is almost four years since the economic crisis unfolded in late 2008, causing a significant impact on the golf market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMA). While the first two editions of this report have shown negative business results in most locations of the EMA region, we are pleased to note that 2011 brought some signs of recovery, despite the negative trend in golf participation in several European markets.
This report is based on a questionnaire-survey of 380 golf course operators in the EMA region about their business performance in 2011, the measures they have taken to improve profitablilty, as well as their future expectations. Among the most notable findings are:
• More than half of golf facilities reported an increase in rounds and revenues in 2011, compared to only one-third in 2010;
• Courses in the Middle East and North Africa remain the strongest performers in EMA, while Eastern European courses remain the weakest;
• Three-quartersof all surveyed operators have taken specific measures to improve profitability – specifically, 56% of all respondents have cut costs, and 30% cut staff;
• Green fees were increased at 38% of all facilities and annual membership fees at more than half, each by an average of 5-10%.
• Half of golf course owners are making capital investments in 2012, while approximately one in ten is considering selling their facility.
Please read the following pages for an in-depth analysis of our survey findings.