Signs of recovery in Caribbean golf market – new KPMG study
Story published at 11:21, Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
This week sees the launch of the 2015 Caribbean Golf Overview from KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice, at the annual Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit in Florida. The report, one which provides invaluable figures for key stakeholders in the golf industry, is KPMG’s latest publication about Caribbean golf since the 2009 Caribbean Golf Benchmark Survey.
For this research initiative, KPMG collected information from federations and course owners in 17 Caribbean countries. Despite the impact of the economic crisis on the region, we have identified only a moderate drop in the region’s supply of golf courses since 2009. Our research identified that the current supply as of 2014 had decreased to 121 courses from a previous high of 129 in 2009 with Dominican Republic closing six courses. We are now seeing some signs of post-crisis recovery.
The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico continue to dominate the golf market with 23% and 17% of the total supply, respectively. Together with the number of facilities in Jamaica and The Bahamas, these four countries comprise 57% of the region’s total supply of golf courses. Though many of these courses still prominently operate as stand-alone facilities, 60% of Caribbean golf courses are integrated with a resort, residential development or both – and there is no dominant resort brand; however, international operators managing multiple properties with a golf course include Sandals and Ritz Carlton.
Approximately 82% of all golfers in the region are male. Participation of registered golfers in the region has risen 7% since 2011. However, the participation of women has dropped by 10%.
Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice, said: “The Caribbean is a lasting destination and the overall resilience of the golf market has been demonstrated in the region’s participation growth and current state of supply. We are seeing a revival of new developments and repositioning of existing assets in various parts of the region with some prominent transactions. We have managed to identify 9 active developments and 21 developments in the planning phase in 2015. For 2015, the average green fee for visiting golfers in the high and low season is currently USD 168 and USD 145 respectively and, on average, remains one of the highest in the world.”
Mr. Sartori added: “I would like to thank all golf federations and course owners who participated in our research, for their valuable input.”
Together with other industry research materials, KPMG’s ‘Caribbean Golf Overview 2015’ is available for download on www.golfbenchmark.com