Is Italy European golf’s “sleeping giant?” A new survey revelas the number of golf courses and golfers has doubled in the country over the past two decades. A thriving international tourism market offers another reason for the industry’s optimism in Italy.

The survey of 80 golf courses this summer revealed a number of points, including:

* The average rounds played at Italian golf facilities (19,200) is in line with the European average, however, lower than in several other countries with a strong golf tourism market and comparable climate conditions. With only a quarter of the total rounds being played by tourists, the country could potentially capitalize on a significant latent demand, while attracting new demand.

* Only 39% of all surveyed facilities reported a positive gross operating profit (GOP) in 2011, while 24% made an operating loss. Profitable courses made an average profit of around EUR 110,000, based on 1.2 million average revenues. However, it is also important to note that only 32% of the facilities surveyed declared to be profit-oriented organizations.

For more inforamtion, or to download the complete report, click here.