Golf clubs and resorts across the globe are now seizing the opportunity to create more sustainable businesses, according to IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) Chief Executive, Peter Walton.
At a glittering ceremony to conclude the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the world’s premier global event for golf tourism suppliers, buyers and media, Walton highlighted how an ever increasing number of developments are committing to environmental excellence.
“We teamed with The Golf Environment Organization (GEO) in 2013 to create a specific Sustainability Award within our wider annual IAGTO Awards event, and this has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness of sustainability in business to our member golf clubs and resorts,” said Peter.
“Through the initiatives GEO undertakes across the world through the OnCourse® and GEO Certified® programs, and the help IAGTO can offer in raising awareness of its work via the awards, we are witnessing a growing number of our members making a measurable commitment to sustainability, which we wholeheartedly endorse,” he added.
IAGTO’s Sustainability Awards were specifically created in 2013 to recognise golf clubs and resorts that have shown a commitment to developing a sustainable business, demonstrating nature protection and enhancement, efficient use of resources, and community value, while delivering practical results.
Previous winners of IAGTO Sustainability Awards include Lumine Golf Club, Costa Daurada, Spain, Westin La Paloma Country Club, Arizona, USA, The Tryall Club, Jamaica, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, Bahia Beach Resort & GC, Puerto Rico and Vidago Palace Golf Course, Portugal.
Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to once again be partnering with IAGTO to recognise clubs which have shown exceptional commitment to sustainable business operations.
“All entries to the 2016 IAGTO Sustainability Awards have been outstanding and are an excellent indication of the growing commitment and action throughout the industry, with wide ranging benefits for individual facilities and golf as a whole.”
GEO is the world’s foremost authority on sustainable golf operations and works with industry leaders, developments and all sizes of facilities, ranging from six-hole golf courses to six-star resorts – in 40 countries around the world. Over 150 courses are now GEO Certified® and over 1,000 are registered to the free OnCourse® program.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, added: “Research shows that eco-tourism is increasingly important to all travellers, not just golfers, and it is important this is reflected in the destinations celebrated at the annual IAGTO Awards.”
As reported on Friday 9th October the awards for Sustainable Golf Course Of The Year go to:
• Asia: Mission Hills Haikou
• Europe: La Galiana Campo de Golf
• The Americas: PGA National Resort & Spa