Tee-time bookings at the Gramacho, Vale da Pinta, Silves and Alto Golf courses – located between Lagoa and Portimao – may now be booked online through either the Pestana golf website or Golfhub, GolfSwitch’s European golf portal site.
Pestana Golf & Resorts is one of the leading hotel, golf and property companies on the Algarve with affordable golf at top-class facilities. Two of the Pestana courses – Gramacho and Vale da Pinta – have already hosted big events.
The Ronald Fream and Nick Price-designed Gramacho has hosted the Portuguese Ladies Open on a number of occasions, while Vale da Pinta has welcomed the European Seniors Tour final qualifying event.
Alto was the last course designed by Sir Henry Cotton and has a 600m par-five known as the ‘Sir Henry Challenge’. The shorter, but nonetheless challenging, Silves course offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains near the medieval town of the same name.
Jo Maes, GolfSwitch’s director of European development, said: “We have been in talks with Algarve Tourism Association (ATA) for some time now and we are obviously delighted that with its support we have started connecting the Algarve golf courses to the network.
“Pestana was the quickest off the mark as they acknowledged that online bookings are the future of golf, not only for our tour operators, but to go with the emerging trend of golfers booking direct.”
Rui Gago, Pestana’s director of golf, added: “We have been looking at adding a live booking engine to our site for some time now, but for whatever reason we were never comfortable that the companies involved where able to deliver. From the start we were impressed with the professionalism displayed by GolfSwitch. Now we are delighted to be the first property in the Algarve to be connected to the GolfSwitch network.”
Pestana will have different booking options through its website with each individual course bearing a separate engine or a portal booking engine linked from the homepage, where golfers can book rounds on various courses on different days using the GolfSwitch shopping cart facility. In the near future GolfSwitch will add a direct access system where tour operators and other partners will be able to book rounds of golf and packages online with their agreed economics.
Connecting courses in the Algarve will allow the ATA to add a portal site to its website where golfers and resellers can book rounds of golf in real time directly with the golf courses.
Resellers like TUI – Europe’s largest tour operator – and Golf.de, Germany’s largest golf website, have already indicated that with Spain already connected, having live access to the Portuguese courses has become a priority.
GolfSwitch is continuing its expansion into Europe with many major golf resorts joining the network and availing themselves of the many online solutions on offer.
Maes added: “Spanish courses have already been connected for some time now and are starting to understand that having an active online presence and many promotions adds another sales channel to the organisation and significantly increases revenue.”
Pestana Golf & Resorts www.pestanagolf.com