KPMG has announced that the 2012 Golf Business Forum will be hosted at Il Ciocco Tuscany Resort, in Barga, Italy, 17-19 September.
The historic hilltop destination, set in the stunning Apennine Mountains, is currently undergoing refurbishment and being rebranded to Renaissance Il Ciocco Resort and Spa, the first to join the Marriott hotel portfolio inTuscany.
The Golf Business Forum, now in its ninth year, brings together 250 leading players from the golf, real estate, finance and tourism sectors in 40 countries and is firmly established as the most important golf industry event to meet and do business in the Europe, Middle East andAfricaregion.
Central to this year’s agenda will be the refocusing of interest on integrated golf and real estate developments in the Mediterranean region, including Italy, a trend underlined by a recent opinion poll published on the Golf Business Community website (www.golfbusinesscommunity.com) that indicated theMediterranean as a hotspot for golf course development in the next five years.
Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice in EMA, said: “This is the first time the Golf Business Forum has visited Italy and, with the special support of the Golf and Tourism Academy at the University of Lucca, we are aiming to provide delegates with three days of international market intelligence and trends, high quality networking and the opportunity to do business.
Andrea Sartori continued: “Something has happened with the Italian golf market in the past few years that makes it interesting. We have seen regions such as Sicily, Puglia, Sardinia and Tuscany recognize the potential for golf tourism. In addition, the international success of European Tour star Matteo Manessero and the World Cup winning Molinari brothers has acted as a catalyst in attracting significant media attention for golf, in turn generating additional local demand.
“However, we haven’t yet seen the development of major golf resorts and residential communities, except for a few projects. Nevertheless, I believe there is great potential for this in Italy, and some other Mediterranean markets, which is why this year’s Golf Business Forum is especially well located.”
Some of golf’s biggest names, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Greg Norman and Annika Sorenstam have all personally attended the Golf Business Forum and further announcements regarding this year’s speakers and guest attendees will be made soon.
Announcing the venue, Andrea Sartori also confirmed that Dana Garmany, Chairman and CEO of Troon Golf, who was recently named The Most Powerful Person in Golf by Golf Inc magazine, will receive the 2012 Golf Business Forum Lifetime Achievement Award.
Andrea Sartori said: “Troon Golf manages more than 200 golf courses in 23 countries worldwide. To date, it is the only high-end golf operator to successfully expand its business globally while maintaining the highest levels of quality. I think delegates attending the Golf Business Forum will learn a great deal by listening to Dana, especially how the vision of an entrepreneur is realized through commitment to strategic planning.”
The location and venue for this year’s Golf Business Forum offers an exciting change. The newly renovated Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa is without a golf course, but is set within the bucolic SerchioValley. It will provide the perfect, distraction-free backdrop for three days of market intelligence, networking and business development at a time of year that will suit many in the golf industry.
Golf Business Forum www.golfbusinessforum.com