IAGTO members vote European Tour partners among the best destinations in the world
THE INTERNATIONAL Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), the trade organisation for the golf tourism industry, has named Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort and Dubai as the top golfing destinations in their respective regions.
Terre Blanche picked up the award for ‘European Golf Resort of the Year’, while Dubai was named as the best golf destination in the Africa, Indian Ocean and Gulf States region.
The awards were handed out at the IAGTO awards in Vilamoura in Portugal, with a total of 450 operators from 59 countries voting. The operators were asked to select their best resorts, taking into account a number of criteria, such as value for money and quality of courses.
The awards were part of the larger International Golf Travel Market that saw 13,000 delegates from 47 countries attend. The annual event is the trade show for the golf tourism industry.
Guest of honour at the show was legendary English golfer Tony Jacklin, who was there to receive a lifetime achievement award. Director of golf at Terre Blanche, Jean-Marie Casella said they were delighted to win the award.
“We are immensely proud to have won this award and consider that it validates our determination to offer world-class service and amenities to our members, hotel guests, visitors and residents.
“Having recently become both a European Tour Destination and a member of ‘Leading Hotels of the World’, we are truly delighted with this latest accolade.”
Terre Blanche has become a ‘must play’ for any golfer visiting the French Riviera. Its Chateau course is now regarded as one of the top ten courses in France.
Hamad Bin Merjen, an executive director at he Dubai tourism department, commented on behalf of the Dubai delegation: “[We are] proud to receive the award for Dubai, which has clinched the best golf destination award for the third time in a decade.”
He added: “This highlights the genuinely successful golf industry in Dubai. In a very short period of time the city, technically a novice in golfing terms, is on a par with cities with a much older reputation as golfing destinations.” Meanwhile, IAGTO’s chief executive, Peter Walton praised the health of the industry. “There is certainly no shortage of candidates worthy of recognition,” said Walton.
“Many individuals, companies, organisations and destinations have excelled in delivering a great golfing experience to the golf traveller - the ultimate goal for all involved in golf tourism.
“We congratulate both Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort and Dubai.”