China GILTS – golf, irrigation, landscaping, turf, sportsgrounds – incorporates the sixth Golf World Asia merchandise show and will feature more than 200 companies from around the world.
The show is run by Golf World Exhibitions of Perth in Western Australia which chief executive Stephen Allen founded after he returned to Australia from Singapore where he ran the Golf Asia merchandise shows. The first show took place in Hong Kong in November 1995. Subsequent venues have been Shanghai and Shenzhen. In 1999 Stephen Allen relocated the exhibition to Guangzhou in the southern provinces of China where golf is a boom sport which has already attracted thousands of new players.
“Many companies recognise the fact that doing business in China represents new challenges for them,” Allen said. “We feel confident that the contacts and expertise which we have built up over the past five years put us in a good position to help our exhibitors and we are very pleased to do so.”
More than 80% of last year’s exhibitors have confirmed their participation in China Golf 2000. The majority of participating companies continues to be largely from the USA and Australian companies are not too far behind this year.
Companies such as John Deere, E-Z-GO/Textron, Forefront Golf International/Steven D Plumer Design, IMG, Graham Marsh Golf Design, Pacific Coast Design, Palmer Course Design, Rainbird, Thompson Golf – Architecture & Planning, Thomson Wolveridge & Perrett and Toro are among a few of the organisations which have been quick to take up the opportunity of exhibiting this year.
There has also been an increase in European interest for this year. Elmwood College (now into its third year of building academic links with Chinese universities) and Range Servant both return. First time exhibitors include the golf course architects Simon Gidman and Martin Hawtree and Carr Golf Services of Dublin. Organisations who will be present include the PGA of Europe and the about-to-be-formed European Institute of Golf Course Architects.
Something of a scramble for space by other companies can be expected over the next four or five weeks. Three out of four halls at China Golf 2000 are already sold out even though the exhibition does not take place until early December. Apart from the normal desire by companies to reserve prime locations for their stands, this year’s rush can also be explained by the need to book and pay for stands before the end of June in order to avoid a new tax which will hike stand prices by 12.5% come 1st July. This is the new sales tax (GST) being imposed by the Australian government on goods and services. Even though the show is in China, Golf World Exhibitions is an Australian company and is therefore obliged to collect the tax from all exhibitors without exception.