Portrush, Northern Ireland Expecting Tourism Boost From Hosting '19 Open Championship
The return of the Open Championship to Portrush has been greeted as a "real boost for tourism," according to the BBC. Royal Portrush club's "place on the rota of host courses is to be confirmed next week." The tournament is to be held there in '19. It is the first time since '51 that "Northern Ireland and the County Antrim course has hosted The Open." Royal Portrush's Philip Tweedie said that this was "good news for everyone." Tweedie: "It is something we have been working towards over the last few years. It is great for the club, it is great for Portrush, for Northern Ireland and, indeed, Ireland. From the overall tourism point of view, this is a real boost." Golfer Darren Clarke is "delighted that his home club will stage the tournament." Clarke: "It is wonderful for the area, for Northern Ireland and the whole of Ireland that one of the biggest sporting events in the world is coming here" (BBC, 6/12). In Dublin, Dan Keenan reported "accommodation providers are in line for a windfall." Portrush currently has "just eight hotels listed on TripAdvisor; the top-rated of those have yet to decide what to charge when the world’s biggest tournament comes to town." Open Championship organizers R&A and the Stormont exec are "no doubt happy local providers will earn good money when the event tees off." But they are "also looking to the long term." The "famous Dunluce championship course in Portrush will be remodelled to present a stiffer challenge to the world's best golfers and to help accommodate the vast 'tented village' for spectators and media that is part of the whole jamboree." Last month's opening stages of the Giro d'Italia showed the "organisational capability is there to stage large sporting events that attract big crowds and global TV audiences" (IRISH TIMES, 6/14).