Portugal has taken the title of World’s Best Golf Destination at the inaugural World Golf Awards, hosted this evening at the Conrad Algarve.
The only global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in the golf hospitality industry, the event also saw St Andrews Links – Old Course recognised as the World’s Best Golf Course, while The Els Club Teluk Datai was awarded the honour of World’s Best New Golf Course.
In a special presentation, Peter Alliss was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to the Golf Industry, while victorious European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley was awarded the honour of Golf Personality of the Year.
Providing a flourish of exquisite quality for attendees of the event, Laurent-Perrier supplied refreshment during the presentation of the awards.
World Golf Awards managing director Chris Frost said: “Tonight has been a tremendous success and it has been an honour to welcome so many key players from the global golf hospitality industry here to Conrad Algarve for this inaugural Gala Ceremony.
“My congratulations go out to all out winners, this is recognition you so richly deserve.”
He added: “This is just the start of the journey for World Golf Awards. We will return to Conrad Algarve next year for the Gala Ceremony 2015 and I look forward to greeting many of our nominees from this evening in 12 months time.”
In an event hosted by renowned sports journalist Steve Rider, Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa also took the title of World’s Best Golf Hotel, while World’s Best Golf Tour Operator went to Haversham & Baker Golfing Expeditions.
Elsewhere, voters awarded the title of Caribbean’s Best Golf Destination to Dominican Republic, while Europe’s Best New Golf Course went to the newly renovated Quinta do Lago – North Course.
The presentation of the awards was the centrepiece of a three-day itinerary for the event, which saw guests enjoy some of the world-class facilities on offer at the famous Quinta do Lago Resort.
Everything from a chauffeur driven airport pick-up, to a full 18-holes of golf on both the Friday and Saturday was on offer.
Among the highlights was a chance to play on the newly renovated Quinta do Lago North Course – a challenge for golfers of all standards set in a natural woodland setting of pine, gorse, heather and wild flowers.
Chris Frost said, “World Golf Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world class courses and golf destinations. Golf tourism constitutes a vital segment in the global travel and tourism marketplace. An estimated 600 million golfer visits will take place in 2014 to the 32,000 golf courses and resorts worldwide.
“The inaugural World Golf Awards focus on the leading 130 nations who are shaping the future of this dynamic industry.
“While celebrating and rewarding excellence across golf resorts, courses and the golfing destinations throughout the world, World Golf Awards will strive to ultimately raise the golf tourist customer experience and stimulate both the domestic and international golf tourism market.
“The worldwide voting process began in May. Votes were made by professionals working within the golf travel and tourism industry – senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media professionals. Votes could also be cast by the public as golf tourism consumers.
“The voting works on a first-past-the-post system to ensure impartiality and independence. Votes are submitted online via the World Golf Awards website. The winners of each national category will go head-to-head with the winners of the other countries before the unveiling of the World Winners.”
Generating sustained media interest, Destination Golf Travel joined International New York Times, Bloomburg Businessweek, and CNBC in partnering with the event.
World Golf Awards www.worldgolfawards.com