Tenerife has made a flying start to the most important week in its burgeoning golf history.
The eyes of the golf tourism world are on the sunshine island for the next five days as it plays host to the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) – the world’s premier event of its kind in the industry – with exhibitors and delegates from across the globe flying in to take part.
Taking place at the Magma Conference Centre in Costa Adeje from October 5-8, Tenerife Golf – the Tenerife Tourism Corporation’s golfing arm – is staging IGTM for the first time ever, with the conference sponsored by Tenerife Tourism Corporation, Turespaña and the Canary Island Government and organised by Reed Exhibitions.
The event will officially begin today (Monday 5th October) with the traditional curtain-raising IGTM golf tournament but, ahead of the opening, around 150 tour operators and media arrived in Tenerife at the end of last week to take part in three pre-event familiarisation golf trips.
The groups not only had the chance to play some of Tenerife’s top golf courses during the four-day trips including Buenavista, Real Club de Golf de Tenerife, Amarilla and Tecina, on the island of La Gomera, but also had the opportunity to discover some of the island’s other delights including a sightseeing trip up to the spectacular Mount Teide volcano.
Proceedings began in eye-catching fashion last Thursday night with a dazzling welcome cocktail ‘White Dinner’ at Costa Adeje’s Las Rocas Beach Club, with all participants required to wear white clothes only, while other highlights included an evening staged in San Miguel de Abona’s picturesque Old Town and a spectacular cocktail dinner for 200 people served at the Finca Punta del Lomo banana plantation.
Carlton Carugati, general manager for IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), said: “All our members were very keen to see what Tenerife has to offer as a golf destination and they have been very impressed.
“With a wide and varied range of golf courses, there is something for golfers of all abilities to enjoy which, coupled with the array of other leisure and cultural activities, helps set it apart as one of Europe’s exciting new breed of golf destinations.
Ljiljana Culek, from Lily Tours in Croatia, said: “This is my first visit to Tenerife and I am loving it. It’s perfect. The golf courses are great and they are in some spectacular settings. But what I have really liked is all the other different things that there are for people to do when you’re not playing golf. It’s quite amazing.”
The largest of the Canary Islands and blessed with average annual temperatures of 23⁰, Tenerife is an established destination for European golfers both in the winter and summer thanks to its perfect all-year round climate, as well as being the ideal place for people of all ages to enjoy a range of sports and outdoor activities.
Featuring nine different and varied layouts, the island offers 70km of beaches and a wide range of cultural highlights and activities both on and off the water, making it the ideal location for a golf break. Last year alone, its courses took an impressive combined total of 300,000 green fees.
During the course of this year’s IGTM, delegates will be able to enjoy a range of five-star facilities including golf across four courses – Golf del Sur, Golf Las Americas, Abama Golf and Golf Costa Adeje – with accommodation available at 23 of the island’s luxury hotels and the event’s gala dinner being held at Siam Park, voted best water park in the world by Trip Advisor.
Tenerife has been a leading supporter of IGTM since its inception and has won widespread praise as an all-year-round golfing destination in recent years, including staging the Tenerife Spanish Ladies Open last September, hosting the Spanish Fred Olsen Challenge on the men’s European Challenge Tour, at La Gomera for the seventh year in a row in July and staging the DISA Spanish Ladies Professional Championship at Abama Golf last month.
The island’s nine golf courses feature a number of different challenges: Buenavista in the west; Real Club de Golf de Tenerife in the north; and Golf Costa Adeje, Abama, Las Americas, Golf del Sur, Amarilla, and Los Palos in the south. Tecina Golf is a 40-minute ferry ride from the mainland on the beautiful island of La Gomera.
Golf in Tenerife www.webtenerife.com/golf