Though the golf industry has been flat in many areas of the world, golf is thriving in North Africa.
This is the find of the third annual Golf Benchmark Survey by KPMG, who have released their regional report for this part of the world.
Even though there are 43 courses in the region, mostly in the areas of Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, there are another 40-45 golf projects currently in progress. Libya, Sudan and Algeria are seen as these new golfing areas in which to expand.
“This is an important report as this is the first time the North African golf market has been studied in such detail,” said Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice in EMA. “It is a region that, in golf business terms, has grown over the past decade and continues to develop with a significant number of projects underway.
The study from KPMG concentrates more on the business performance of golf courses, and shows that the average Gross Operating Profit margin for 18-hole courses is 25% in North Africa, compared to 17% in South Africa.
The popularity of golf has increased in North Africa in the last 10 years, mainly due to travel and tourism. A decade ago Egypt had only three courses, now it can boast 14. Morocco is the mainstay of golf in North Africa with 18 courses and more than half of the region’s 9,000 golfers.
But for inhabitants of North Africa, golf isn’t the obsession like it is in many European countries. There is only one golfer for every 10,000 citizens, and on average the number of members at golf clubs is 236. Morocco being the exception with an average of 425 per club.
“Our survey found that golf managers were optimistic about the future business prospects for their courses,” said Sartori.
“Although our analysis was conducted prior to the full scale unfolding of this autumn’s global financial crisis. However, we believe the outlook for the North Africa region remains positive.”