Golf tourism is bouncing back from the economic downturn, a survey by KPMG has revealed.

Golf Travel Insights has reported that 60% of golf tour operators experienced an increase in the number of golf breaks booked last year, compared to 38% in 2010. Similarly, just 12% of tour operators reported a decrease in bookings in 2011 compared to 54% the year before.

The survey, published by KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice, included the feedback of 90 golf tour operators in 35 countries, the majority of which are based in Europe.

Spain and Portugal remained the most popular destinations, while Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam continue to emerge as popular destinations for golf holidays.

Despite this, Spain and Portugal saw an average price drop of 10-20% for golf holiday packages in 2011, while destinations in South East Asia increased prices by 30-50%.

See also: Golf Monthly travel pages

Turkey experienced a price hike of 10-20%. However, most golf tour operators (51%) maintained similar prices in 2011 to 2010. Italy and Bulgaria, considered upcoming golf travel destinations, proved increasingly popular with golf tour operators.

Golfers from the America and Canada, the UK, Scandinavia and Germany remain the biggest golf travellers. KPMG also found that golfers spend significantly more on a holiday than regular leisure tourists, typically €600-900 on a four to seven-night golf break. More than a third of these breaks (35%) are group bookings of 8-12 people.

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