The economic situation is a topical subject on everyone’s minds at the moment with threats of having to tighten the belt when it comes to overseas travel predominant throughout the media. The travel industry in general has been hit hard. However, the fact that the International Golf Travel Market has been sold out since September demonstrates a certain resilience from golf travel to the current economic downturn.
The 11th International Golf Travel Market, the world’s premiere golfing exhibition, has experienced a dramatic increase in both the number of countries represented year on year and the number of exhibitors, demonstrating the fact that countries are increasingly seeing the potential of golf tourism. This year’s event, which takes place in Andalucàa from 17-20 November 2008, sees representation from 63 countries, plus an impressive total of 440 exhibitors.
Mark Walsh, group exhibition director commented, “IGTM 2008 has attracted over 1,200 golf tourism professionals from 63 countries, the largest in the show’s 11 year history, indicating that in the current difficult economic environment the golf tourism industry is looking to meet the economic challenges in a proactive, positive manner both now and for the future.”
This year has seen strong representation from Central and Eastern Europe, with new destinations including Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Northern Cyprus and Denmark.
There is also presence from an increasing number of companies representing emerging golf tourism destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as traditional golfing destinations.
These include Andalucia with more than 80 golf courses, hotels and agencies represented, Ireland with 22, the Algarve with 25, plus Argentina with 25 exhibitors, Turkey with 12 and Brazil with eight.
Walsh went on to say, “The 2008 International Golf Travel Market will offer global representation, making it the most geographically comprehensive show to date. This also highlights the suitability of Andalucia as the host destination as well as demonstrating the continued strength of this market.”
International Golf Travel Market www.igtm.co.uk