The 2013 International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the premier global event for golf tourism, has opened in Costa Daurada, Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain, with IGTM and IAGTO representatives sharing an optimistic outlook for the golf tourism industry.
In his keynote address, Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), presented positive findings from IAGTO’s Global Golf Tourism Report 2013, highlighting a 9.3% growth in global golf tour operator sales in 2012 over 2011.
“With our report showing a steady, healthy growth of the sector, I believe we can all look forward to a third consecutive year of golf tourism growth in 2014, an optimistic forecast I am confident will be reflected in next year’s global golf tourism survey,” he commented.
“Golf resorts, courses and hotels, should continue to focus on their individual strengths, but also, and more importantly, on working together with public sector bodies, to promote their golf destination and position it in the best possible way to attract more golf travellers and golf tour operator business.
“Golf tour operators, on the other hand, operate in a fiercely-competitive market, so they need to focus their energies on differentiation, unique communication channels and cost-effective promotions, while keeping costs low and their knowledge base high.”
Peter concluded his address by underlining the importance of IAGTO members building upon their own company’s key strengths or ‘X-Factors’™ in order to make this generic growth both personally relevant and sustainable over the longer term.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, shared Peter Walton’s optimism by stating: “IGTM is becoming increasingly important as a barometer of the golf travel industry’s performance and the verdict this year is that the market has indeed been lifting, at a steady pace.”
He added, “The support of world-class destinations from every corner of the golfing globe continues to ensure IGTM remains an important golf tourism event for both delegates and exhibitors, bringing the global golf travel trade together in one place, creating a unique opportunity to generate new business and develop existing relationships.”
The 16th edition of IGTM is the first time the event has been held in Costa Daurada, one hour south of Barcelona and just 15 minutes from Barcelona Reus airport where, this year, approximately 1,200 delegates from 60 countries will attend the four-day event.