Golf tourism suppliers, buyers, visitors and media attending this year’s International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) will experience first-hand why the Algarve region in Portugal has been consistently voted one of Europe’s top golfing destinations.
The 15th edition of IGTM, which will take place in Vilamoura from 12-15 November 2012, will showcase the potential golf tourism that can be achieved by a country or a region, like theAlgarve.
Comprising 35 of Portugal’s 80 golf courses, the Algarve’s reputation as a favourite among golfers continues to grow, with recent accolades, such as Today’s Golfer’s ‘Best Value Golf Destination’ in Continental Europe, reaffirming the region’s immense golfing appeal.
“Since IGTM was last in the Algarve in 1999, the region has seen a 20% increase in number of rounds played and the opening of 16 new golf courses. This correlates to an increase in the Algarve’s golf tourism industry, which, today, represents 12% of the region’s total tourism revenue,” explained António Pina, President of the Algarve Tourism Board.
Twenty-six of the Algarve’s golf courses have been recognised in numerous rankings, equating to almost 70% of the region’s courses, and a third of Portugal’s total number of courses.
António Pina added: “With 75% of the country’s rounds of golf being played in the Algarve, and 90% of those rounds being played by visitors, the decision to host IGTM a second time reflects the crucial role tourism plays in the region and its overall contribution to the Portuguese economy.”
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, commented: “It is great to come back to the Algarve and see how it has developed over the years. For an established golfing destination of more than 30 years to continue to experience growth in its number of visitors, golf breaks and golfing holidays is a notable achievement.
“We expect IGTM 2012 will provide yet another platform for the Algarve Tourism Board to showcase its critically acclaimed golf courses and resorts, as well as promote itself as a leading golf destination.”
Peter Grimster continued: “With 450 exhibitors already confirmed from 55 countries and over 300 buyers, this year’s IGTM promises to be an unmissable event.
“Coupled with the fantastic response IGTM has had over the past 15 years, we are confident our vision to create the ultimate golf travel event which helps facilitate and initiate business and where important industry trends can be discussed, has been achieved.”
As in previous years, buyers, exhibitors and press attendees will receive pre-scheduled one-to-one appointments as well as social networking opportunities during the four-day show.