The Costa Daurada and Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Community, one of Europe’s most alluring golf resorts, officially opened the doors today to international tourism suppliers, buyers and media for the annual golf travel industry showpiece as the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) kicked off.
The trade has been vocal in their support for the host venue for IGTM as the region is predicted to swell in popularity, becoming a premier choice for clientele internationally.
Peter Walton, chief executive of event partner IAGTO, said the annual IGTM show - which is being attended by bunkered golf magazine - would be a great avenue to showcase the courses in the area. “There are clusters of top quality golf courses in Costa Daurada that people did not know about, but they will now. The product is perfect for the avid golfing market and with a considerable capacity for growth; it is in the perfect situation.”
Running until November 14, the 16th edition of IGTM - now golf’s premier travel show - sees the Costa Daurada and the Troon-managed resort demonstrate their diverse golf, leisure and cultural offering. The 4,000 person capacity PortAventura Convention Centre will form the base for official proceedings during the show, whilst the region’s contemporary accommodation, PortAventura Theme Park, championship golf courses and Mediterranean cuisine will be also showcased to tour operators via a series of extra-curricular activities and a pre-event FAM trip.
There are clusters of top quality golf courses in Costa Daurada that people did not know about, but they will now. - Peter Walton on the impact of IGTM
“Costa Daurada is privileged to have the opportunity to host such a significant event and our selection as host venue for the 16th IGTM underlines our position as a leading golf and leisure destination,” said Josep Poblet, President of the Diputació de Tarragona.
“With over fifty top suppliers from the represented this week, we are introducing key operators first hand to the appeal of the region and demonstrating our commitment to developing strong and beneficial trade relations.”
IGTM helping emerging markets
The Costa Daurada region is emerging as one of golf’s most diverse destinations, spearheaded by Lumine Golf & Beach Club’s escalating popularity amongst discerning travellers. Totalling a record 400 rounds in one day earlier this year, the Troon-managed resort has demonstrated the kind of innovation and creativity worthy of attracting leading events including; The European Tour Qualifying School, the PGAs of Europe Fourball Championship and the Nordea Tour’s inaugural Winter Series in 2014. Elite squads from Austria, Finland and Denmark have also sought out the 45-hole facility and Performance Centre as a Winter Training base.
Calle Carlsson, general manager at Lumine, said: “This is a monumental occasion for Lumine Golf & Beach Club and Costa Daurada which will impress the international trade on the quality, service and business returns available through strategic alignments. We have already received tremendous feedback from Tour Operators who experienced the product as part of the pre-IGTM FAM trip.”
IGTM keynote address - positive shoots
In his keynote address at the IGTM show, IAGTO boss Peter Walton presented positive findings from IAGTO’s Global Golf Tourism Report 2013, highlighting a 9.3% growth in global golf tour operator sales in 2012 over 2011.
“With our report showing a steady, healthy growth of the sector, I believe we can all look forward to a third consecutive year of golf tourism growth in 2014 – an optimistic forecast I am confident will be reflected in next year’s global golf tourism survey,” he said.
“Golf resorts, courses and hotels, should continue to focus on their individual strengths, but also, and more importantly, on working together with public sector bodies, to promote their golf destination and position it in the best possible way to attract more golf travellers and golf tour operator business.
I believe we can all look forward to a third consecutive year of golf tourism growth in 2014 - Peter Walton speaking at IGTM
“Golf tour operators, on the other hand, operate in a fiercely-competitive market, so they need to focus their energies on differentiation, unique communication channels and cost-effective promotions, while keeping costs low and their knowledge base high.”