Following on from the biggest and most successful Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC), held on China’s tropical island of Hainan, the 4th edition of the annual event will move to Indonesia’s capital in spring 2015, bringing together golf resorts and destination from the Asia Pacific region with golf tour operators from all over the world.
Organised by global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO, AGTC has expanded each year since its inception in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in 2012.
The 2014 event, staged in partnership with the Mission Hills Group and the Haikou government was held at the spectacular ocean-front Hainan International Exhibition & Convention Centre in Haikou and at award-winning golf and spa resort Mission Hills Haikou. It was attended by a record 556 delegates, with over 200 tour operators drawn from 32 countries – an increase of over 30% on last year’s ground-breaking event in Pattaya, Thailand.
The announcement of Jakarta as the 2015 venue, on the final day of meetings at AGTC 2014, was followed by the official hand-over from Haikou to Jakarta, with an exchange of gifts between Haikou Deputy Mayor Ren Qinhua and Professor Dr Sylviana Murni, Jakarta Deputy Governor for Culture and Tourism.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton is excited about the convention moving to Indonesia.
“IAGTO carried out the golf tourism strategy for Jakarta in 2011. That was my first visit to the city and I was staggered by the quality of the courses within a short distance of the buzzing capital’s hotels, shopping and entertainment district,” he told AGTC delegates.
“All of the courses stood out in terms of their fantastic hospitality. From the clubhouses through the restaurants to the courses to the gardeners, the hospitality of Jakarta’s golf courses is second to none.
“For me it is one of the friendliest cities I have visited. The easy access Jakarta as Indonesia’s capital city affords from the Asia Pacific region and further afield and the excitement and interest shown by delegates shows Jakarta can take AGTC a step further.”
Walton added: “To show what this means to the host city, I reported a year on from Kuala Lumpur hosting the first AGTC that the number of tour operators selling Malaysia was 40% up. I can now report that two years on it is 90% up.
“People don’t know what to expect in Jakarta; I certainly didn’t. It’s very exciting for me to take destinations like this year that are relatively unknown as golf destinations when the product and the hospitality and the supplementary product are so great. Jakarta is another case in point and I can guarantee that everybody attending AGTC 2015 will have a wonderful time in what has rapidly become one of my favourite cities.”
Dr Murni told delegates: “Around three years ago, as a supporting member of IAGTO, we worked together and did an audit of golf courses and their facilities. This had never been done in the Jakarta golf industry. We have benefited greatly from this accreditation. We have been involved in AGTC conventions since 2011. This convention has been an eye-opening experience.”
As Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta was one of Indonesia’s most important tourism destinations and a melting pot of cultures with its population of 12 million people. Besides offering historic sights, heritage trails, shopping, entertainment, dining, spa and international events, she said it offered 35 golf courses in mountain and city settings in the surrounding area, some of them by top names including Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.
“For 2015 our ultimate goal is to not only expand the golf market not only to Indonesia but also throughout Asia,” she added. “So we invite all of you to bring the world’s golfing community to our country next year.
“We are excited to be the host and we are guarantee that sellers and buyers will have a wonderful experience and we are sure you will enjoy Jakarta. I look forward to welcoming all of you to Jakarta for the Asia Golf Tourism Convention 2015.”
AGTC 2015 takes place in spring 2015 but dates are yet to be confirmed.