Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa’s popularity as a destination for UK golfers is at an all-time high after announcing record visitor numbers for the last 12 months – with bookings expected to increase by at least another 50 per cent in 2014.
Latest figures revealed by the deluxe Sicilian venue show that the number of golfers visiting from the UK almost quadrupled in 2013 compared to the previous year.
Helped by the opening of the new airport at Comiso – only a 20-minute drive away – the UK is now firmly established as one Donnafugata’s four biggest golf markets alongside Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
And, with the resort having already taken the same number of bookings in the first quarter of this year as throughout the whole of 2013, it suggests UK golfers are continuing to discover Donnafugata in their droves.
Donnafugata is reaping the rewards of working closely with a range of specialist golf tour operators, both large and small, across the UK and continuing to invest in a concentrated PR campaign in the media, including advertising on Sky Sports for the first time.
And interest in the complex is set to increase further with the opening this spring of a new Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence – the first facility of its kind in continental Europe – new flight routes from Stansted and Dublin airports into Comiso and new rental club packages.
Guy Roberts, director of golf at Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, said: “The UK market was one of our biggest growth areas in 2013 and the booking numbers we’ve already taken for this year are tremendously encouraging.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this spectacular increase in the volume of business generated from the UK market is thanks largely to the tremendous visibility that we have managed to secure over the past 12 to 18 months in the British press, and also as a result of a number of important PR campaigns.”
Boasting five-star facilities including two 18-hole championship golf courses, a 202-room five-star hotel and an award-winning luxury spa, Donnafugata has quickly established itself among Europe’s elite golf resorts in Europe since opening in 2010.
As well as individuals, the resort is also a favourite destination for tuition breaks and it will host 59 professional groups from all over Europe in the three months up until the end of April – an increase of 40 per cent on figures last year – with more than 600 players from countries including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Norway and Poland flocking to experience the luxury facilities on offer.
Host venue for the 2011 Sicilian Open, Donnafugata’s other recent highlights include both its courses being named in Golf World’s biennial list of the ‘Top 200 Courses in Continental Europe’.
Set in the beautiful area of Donnafugata, a natural reserve and famous tourist destination known for the imposing castle which bears the same name, the resort also boasts a number of fantastic historical cities nearby. These include Val di Noto, the heart of Sicilian baroque: Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Noto and Scicli. All of them are deemed fitting of UNESCO World Heritage status.
Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa has 202 rooms, an award-winning spa and health club, swimming pools and three restaurants offering a broad selection of gastronomic delights, well accompanied by perfect Sicilian wines to enhance flavour.
Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa www.donnafugatagolfresort.com