In recognition of the incredibly difficult challenges faced by the international golf tourism industry these past two years, the 21st annual IAGTO Awards focused entirely on rewarding the extraordinary efforts made by so many within the industry.
Across the globe, a total of 342 companies and organisations were singled out by IAGTO members for going above and beyond what was required, putting the golf traveller first and looking after their industry partner relationships despite such difficult circumstances. Each of these 342 businesses have been presented with IAGTO’s Outstanding Service Award in an online awards ceremony.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “We chose not to run our Awards last year because where golf travel did take place it was generally confined within its own borders. And even this year, international golf travel only recently started to get back on its feet, albeit with a spring in its step. There was no doubt that we needed to take a different approach to the Awards this year and giving the industry the opportunity to highlight cases of exceptional service delivered by their business partners proved to be a real shot-in-the-arm for everyone involved.”
Companies from all sectors of the golf tourism industry were nominated for an award, with IAGTO dividing these into five categories:
- Golf Resorts, Golf Facilities and Hotels
- Inbound Operators
- Golf Tour Operators
- Service Providers
- Tourist Boards
International golf tour operators commended hotels, golf courses and other golf destination suppliers for their flexibility on cancellations, re-bookings and refunds and for delivering an unparalleled service in the face of this unprecedented global crisis.
There was also enormous gratitude for the efforts suppliers made in looking after tour operators’ customers, particularly at the beginning of the crisis when there were so many unknowns. The lengths that golf courses and hotels took to implement Covid safety protocols while still making visitors comfortable, was also highlighted.
Walton added: “Golf tour operators were praised by golf destinations for the essential role they played in keeping their customers informed and figuring out alternatives and solutions wherever possible.
“There is now enormous pent-up demand for golf vacations and this autumn we have seen record bookings wherever international travel restrictions have been lifted. Even in this short space of time it has already become clear that golfers are turning to golf tour operators in higher numbers than ever before due, in part, to the security that tour operators represent and the confidence that they inspire.”