Page 14 - GBC Eng winter 2021
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  Source: Back-To -Normal Barometer, September 16, 2021
Golf Business Canada
“...shutdowns were only imposed on golf for a relatively short period
of time, compared to these other activities, has been a big source of competitive advantage.”
during the pandemic agree with the statement that, “Golf today can be an oasis from the stresses of life.” We’ve been tracking that sentiment for two decades, and we remain at or near a high point.
Within the Barometer, we have also been tracking general sentiment about when we will be back to pre-pandemic “normalcy.” The trend has suggested that this may be elusive, as the time horizon continues to move outward. In late September, we again asked all respondents to use a 10-point scale to indicate “from the standpoint of COVID related restric- tions, safety protocols, business closures or capacity restrictions, [we] will be up and running as it was pre-pandemic,” where 10 indicates pre-pandemic conditions and 1 indicates total lockdowns. Those providing an 8-10 score for the end of 2021 is just 27%...down from 63% who felt this way back in October of 2020. In fact, less than half expect conditions to be an 8-10 by the end of the second quarter of 2022....that’s into the heart of next year’s golf season. So bundle these lingering concerns, and a less than stellar re-opening of activities competitive to golf, and a large opportunity remains for our industry to continue to ride a wave of strong demand.
Above, I referenced that our research has shown a marked decline in service levels experienced by consumers returning to non-golf leisure activities. The fact that golf has been able to rise above that is a testament to how we’ve managed through the pandemic.
In conversations with various industry executives, the fact that shutdowns were only imposed on golf for a relatively short period of time, compared to these other activities, has been a big source of compet- itive advantage. Unlike the travel industry, which experienced mass layoffs, golf industry employment has remained relatively constant. But, the elephant in the room remains macro-economic headwinds with microeconomic implications. The Barometer has shown trending of signif- icant inflationary pressures. Those indicating that compared to six months prior, the prices paid for items and services they continually buy is much higher now, has risen fifteen points from 17% in May to 32% in late September. Seventy percent say that prices are somewhat or much higher now than they were in March of 2021.
Exacerbating the inflationary concerns is a rampant labour shortage that doesn’t appear to be subsiding. This summer, before the emergence of the Delta variant, we conducted a custom study among those
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