The island of Gran Canaria will become the centre of the golfing world from 5th to 8th December 2005 as it was chosen by the International Association of Golf Travel Operators (IAGTO) to host the eighth edition of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) at the Maspalomas Convention Centre.
The IGTM is the largest golfing travel trade fair in the world. At last years edition, held in Estoril, Portugal there were over 1,000 exhibitors from over 47 countries. Those statistics are expected to be surpassed this year.
The event has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 1998 and Spain, Europe’s most popular golfing destination with over 3 million visitors per year, will be hosting the exhibition for the first time.
“We realise that the traveller has so much more choice nowadays with the advent of the Internet and specialist holiday organisations and we aim to showcase Gran Canaria at the IGTM as not only as one of the rising golf destinations in the world, but to also highlight our culture, gastronomy and of course, the sun, sea and year round warm climate for which our island is so well known,” said Juan Jose Cardona, the president of Tourism Gran Canaria.
With a year-round average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius and with the influence of the trade winds and the gentle sea currents, Gran Canaria is a perfect destination for golfers. The island boasts six first-class courses, one of which, the Real Club de golf de Las Palmas, dates back to 1891, making it the oldest golf club in Spain.
Golf tourism in Europe alone is worth well in excess of €3,000 million per year. The industry of golf tourism is therefore 2.5 times larger than the golf equipment and golf apparel industries put together. The 250 golf tour operators who will attend IGTM are responsible for more than 80% of Europe’s packaged golf travel.