The 2015 International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Tenerife, the premier global event for golf tourism, opened with news that global golf tour operator sales continue to grow for a fourth consecutive year.
In his keynote opening address, Peter Walton, Chief Executive of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), announced that statistics collated by his organisation highlight that for the first three months of 2015, global golf tour operators reported an 8% increase in business, followed by a 5% year-on-year increase in the second quarter, April to June 2015.
This news was further supported by data from IAGTO member golf courses and hotels that, on average, saw a 7.2% increase in the number of travelling golfers visiting their properties in the first six months of 2015.
Peter Walton commented: “We can now confidently assert that 2015 will be the fourth year of consecutive growth for global golf tour operators, which is extremely positive for the industry.”
This up-to-the-minute data is the result of global golf tourism organisation IAGTO, which has 2,400 members in 99 countries, introducing new quarterly golf tourism surveys in 2015, with core data being collected from over 700 operators and suppliers in the first two quarters of 2015.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, added: “IAGTO’s current market insights prove there is much for the global golf tourism industry to be positive about. All key indicators suggest the number of golf travellers is on the increase and IGTM offers the perfect platform for the global industry to unlock growth opportunities and build long-lasting business relationships.”
Global Golf Tour Operators
- Year-on-year booking increases of 8%, Jan-March 2015, and 5%, April-June 2015.
- Forward bookings increase 6.7% year-on-year, Jan-June 2015.
- Globally, IAGTO golf tour operator sales grew by 9.3% in 2012, 11.1% in 2013 and by 8.9% in 2014. It is expected 2015 will also see a significant increase.
IAGTO member golf courses and hotels
- Golf visitor numbers increased, on average, by 7.2% year-on-year, Jan-June 2015.
- Forward bookings increase 4.6%, year-on-year.
The 18th edition of IGTM is the first time the event has been held in Tenerife, having been staged on sister Canary Island, Gran Canaria, 10 years ago. This year’s event brings together a record number of buyers, 500 exhibitors from 65 countries and over 50 registered media. Over the four days of IGTM, it is expected approximately 11,300 pre-scheduled meetings will take place.
Peter Walton added: “This year’s event holds great significance for me, as it was while escorting a group of golf tour operators to Tenerife 20 years ago that I had the idea to set up a global golf tourism organisation and create an annual trade show for the golf tourism industry.
“I was UK Director for the Tenerife Tourist Office at the time – from 1994 to 1997 – and one of my remits was to establish Tenerife as a popular golf destination, at a time when the island had not eight, but three golf courses. So today is very much a ‘homecoming’ moment for me and it is wonderful to see golf tourism to the Canary Islands flourishing.”