Delegates attending the 18th International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) being staged in Tenerife, Canary Islands, hear that the global golf travel sector continues to grow.
TENERIFE, SPAIN – In his keynote opening address at thee 2015 International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) Peter Walton, Chief Executive of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), announced that statistics collated by his organisation highlight that for the first three months of 2015, global golf tour operators reported an 8% increase in business, followed by a 5% year-on-year increase in the second quarter, April to June 2015.
This news was further supported by data from IAGTO member golf courses and hotels that, on average, saw a 7.2% increase in the number of travelling golfers visiting their properties in the first six months of 2015.
Peter Walton commented: “We can now confidently assert that 2015 will be the fourth year of consecutive growth for global golf tour operators, which is extremely positive for the industry.”
This up-to-the-minute data is the result of global golf tourism organisation IAGTO, which has 2,400 members in 99 countries, introducing new quarterly golf tourism surveys in 2015, with core data being collected from over 700 operators and suppliers in the first two quarters of 2015.
IGTM Exhibition Manager, Peter Grimster: ‘There is much for the global golf tourism industry to be positive about’.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, added: “IAGTO’s current market insights prove there is much for the global golf tourism industry to be positive about. All key indicators suggest the number of golf travellers is on the increase and IGTM offers the perfect platform for the global industry to unlock growth opportunities and build long-lasting business relationships.”
Global Golf Tour Operators
- Year-on-year booking increases of 8%, Jan-March 2015, and 5%, April-June 2015.
- Forward bookings increase 6.7% year-on-year, Jan-June 2015.
- Globally, IAGTO golf tour operator sales grew by 9.3% in 2012, 11.1% in 2013 and by 8.9% in 2014. It is expected 2015 will also see a significant increase.
IAGTO member golf courses and hotels
- Golf visitor numbers increased, on average, by 7.2% year-on-year, Jan-June 2015.
- Forward bookings increase 4.6%, year-on-year.
The 18th edition of IGTM is the first time the event has been held in Tenerife, having been staged on sister Canary Island, Gran Canaria, 10 years ago. This year’s event brings together a record number of buyers, 500 exhibitors from 65 countries and over 50 registered media. Over the four days of IGTM, it is expected approximately 11,300 pre-scheduled meetings will take place.
Peter Walton added: “This year’s event holds great significance for me, as it was while escorting a group of golf tour operators to Tenerife 20 years ago that I had the idea to set up a global golf tourism organisation and create an annual trade show for the golf tourism industry.
“I was UK Director for the Tenerife Tourist Office at the time – from 1994 to 1997 – and one of my remits was to establish Tenerife as a popular golf destination, at a time when the island had not eight, but three golf courses. So today is very much a ‘homecoming’ moment for me and it is wonderful to see golf tourism to the Canary Islands flourishing.”
IAGTO Sustainability Awards helping golf courses and resorts emerge as leaders in sustainable sport and business
On the eve of announcing this year’s IAGTO Sustainability Award winners at a glittering ceremony to conclude the IGTM, Walton highlighted how an ever increasing number of developments are committing to environmental excellence.
Photo caption: IAGTO teamed up with The Golf Environment Organization (GEO) to create specific Sustainability Awards.
“We teamed with The Golf Environment Organization (GEO) in 2013 to create a specific Sustainability Award within our wider annual IAGTO Awards event, and this has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness of sustainability in business to our member golf clubs and resorts,” said Peter.
“Through the initiatives GEO undertakes across the world through the OnCourse and GEO Certified programs, and the help IAGTO can offer in raising awareness of its work via the awards, we are witnessing a growing number of our members making a measurable commitment to sustainability, which we wholeheartedly endorse,” he added.
IAGTO’s Sustainability Awards were specifically created in 2013 to recognise golf clubs and resorts that have shown a commitment to developing a sustainable business, demonstrating nature protection and enhancement, efficient use of resources, and community value, while delivering practical results.
The annual IAGTO Awards, driving awareness of sustainability in golf.
Previous winners of IAGTO Sustainability Awards include Lumine Golf Club, Costa Daurada, Spain, Westin La Paloma Country Club, Arizona, USA, The Tryall Club, Jamaica, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, Bahia Beach Resort & GC, Puerto Rico and Vidago Palace Golf Course, Portugal.
Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to once again be partnering with IAGTO to recognise clubs which have shown exceptional commitment to sustainable business operations.
“All entries to the 2016 IAGTO Sustainability Awards have been outstanding and are an excellent indication of the growing commitment and action throughout the industry, with wide ranging benefits for individual facilities and golf as a whole.”
GEO is the world’s foremost authority on sustainable golf operations and works with industry leaders, developments and all sizes of facilities, ranging from six-hole golf courses to six-star resorts – in 40 countries around the world. Over 150 courses are now GEO Certified and over 1,000 are registered to the free OnCourse program.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, added: “Research shows that eco-tourism is increasingly important to all travellers, not just golfers, and it is important this is reflected in the destinations celebrated at the annual IAGTO Awards.”
Picture caption: IAGTO Chief Executive, Peter Walton, makes his Opening Address at IGTM 2015 in Tenerife.
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