The 14th annual IAGTO Awards ceremony, marking the conclusion of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) 2013, in Costa Daurada, Catalonia, Spain, has honoured a host of destinations and resorts from around the world.
The glittering ceremony, sponsored by Etihad Airways, celebrated the golf industry’s best-performing destinations, including The Algarve, Thailand, Florida, South Africa, Dubai and Costa Rica. It also recognised South African Tour star, Ernie Els, with an honorary award for his services to the game.
The IAGTO Golf Tourism Supplier of the Year accolade was awarded to Dubai Golf, operators of Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and Almouj Golf in Oman, while Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria; The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California, USA and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand, also received awards for Golf Resort of the Year.
Staged at the historic Tarragona Plaça De Tores in Tarragona, the IAGTO Awards took place on the final night of the International Golf Travel Market, the golf tourism industry’s annual global trade show. This year’s IGTM, one of the most successful ever, saw almost 1,200 delegates from 60 countries visit the Costa Daurada region from November 11-14, 2013.
For the first time, and as the result of IAGTO’s partnership with the Golf Environment Organization (GEO), the IAGTO Awards featured a new ‘sustainability’ element, recognising golf clubs and resorts that have shown a commitment to developing a sustainable business, whilst delivering practical results.
The overall environment winner in the IAGTO/GEO Sustainability Awards was Ritz Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Florida, USA, with category awards going toLumine Golf Club, Costa Daurada, Spain (Efficient use of Resources); Westin La Paloma Country Club, Arizona, USA (Community Engagement) and The Tryall Club, Jamaica (Nature Conservation).
Peter Grimster, Exhibition Manager at Reed Travel Exhibitions, said: “The IAGTO Awards ensure IGTM finishes on a high. IGTM always acts as an accurate barometer for the health of the global golf travel market and it also gives travel industry executives the opportunity to network with representatives from developed, emerging and new golf destinations, creating valuable business relationships.
“IGTM goes from strength to strength each year as we constantly look at ways of improving and enhancing the proposition for exhibitors and visitors. The event has rightly created a reputation as a ‘place to do business’ and we are already looking forward to the 2014 edition in Lake Como, Italy.”
Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO, commenting on its 14th annual awards ceremony, said: “IAGTO golf tour operators from 62 countries cast their votes for these prestigious awards, taking into account customer satisfaction, quality of golf courses and accommodation, value for money, and support from the local tourism industry.
“Yet again, these annual awards, this year sponsored by Etihad Airways, have highlighted the strength, depth and variety of fantastic experiences available to golf travellers across the globe. We are also proud that we have been able to give further momentum to the important work of the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) by highlighting extraordinarily lengths that many IAGTO golf courses will go to in order to achieve environmental sustainability and embrace social responsibility.”
The full listing of 2014 IAGTO Award Winners is –
Golf Destination of the Year:
- Europe – The Algarve, Portugal
- Asia and Australasia – HuaHin, Thailand
- North America – Naples, MarcoIsland and The Everglades, Florida, USA
- Latin America and Caribbean – Costa Rica
- Africa and Gulf States – The Garden Route, SouthAfrica
Golf Resort of the Year:
- Europe – Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria
- North America – The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California, USA
- Rest of the World – The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
IAGTO Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year:
IAGTO Golf Tourism Supplier of the Year:
- Dubai Golf
IAGTO Honorary Award:
- Ernie Els
2014 IAGTO/GEO Sustainability Awards:
- Efficient use of Resources – Lumine Golf Club, Costa Daurada, Spain
- Community Engagement – Westin La Paloma Country Club, Arizona, USA
- Nature Conservation – The Tryall Club, Jamaica
Overall Winner for Environmental Sustainability:
- Ritz Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Florida, USA
2014 IAGTO Awards www.iagto.com