More than 200 golf tour operators from around the world will participate in the largest series of golf familiarisation tours ever undertaken in Asia when the Philippines hosts the region’s annual gathering of golf tourism professionals, the Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC), in April.
The Asia Convention is organised by global golf tourism industry body IAGTO, and Chief Executive Peter Walton commented: “One of our objectives with AGTC each year is to ensure that the destination benefits directly from the event in a really significant way.
“As an emerging golf destination, only 21% of our 424 golf tour operators selling golf vacations to Asia feature the Philippines, so we were determined to get as many tour operators to really experience golf in the Philippines first-hand either before or after the Convention itself. I am delighted to announce that as a result of these efforts, sponsored by the country’s Tourism Promotions Board, 215 golf tour operator delegates from 35 countries have already committed to the AGTC Fam Tours making this the largest golf fam trip to have ever taken place in Asia.”
Tour operators will visit the three main golf destinations: Tagaytay Highlands, Clark-Angeles City and Boracay Island. They will also experience golf in metro Manila itself at the iconic Southwoods and Wack Wack golf clubs during the AGTC Golf Tournament, which will follow two days of meetings between seller companies and organisations across Asia – including destination tourist boards, golf resorts, golf clubs, hotels, transportation companies and other golf tourism service providers – and the golf tour operator buyers.
Most courses in the Philippines are located south of Manila. The Tagaytay Highlands lie at the heart of this region, a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. The quiet resort town of Tagaytay sits alongside a volcanic lake amidst a stunning backdrop of volcanoes, with golf courses close by and near Lipa, an hour away.
Pre-AGTC fam destination Boracay is a small but popular tropical resort island a short flight and ferry ride from Manila with a golf course, private beach coves and extensive facilities and activities at the Fairways & Bluewater resort, which takes up 15% of the island.
Three hours by road from Manila and only 20 minutes apart, the twin cities of Clark and Angeles host another AGTC trip. They could not be more different – Clark is a freeport zone offering quiet, tree-lined avenues and casino hotels while Angeles City is a vibrant 24-hour city – but together they comprise a compelling Philippine golf destination with excellent golf courses nearby.
The Philippines golf tourism industry is coordinated by the Association of International Golf Tour Operators Philippines (AIGTP) and its President, Connie Mamaril, said: “The Philippines has a hundred golf courses throughout the archipelago of 7,100 islands with varying designs overlooking the ocean, rivers, volcanoes and mountains with standards enticing to the international market and competitive green fees. The added charm of English-speaking caddies makes the entire golfing experience unforgettable.”
AGTC 2018 will take place in Manila from 22-25 April and has already attracted a record number of buyers, with 75% emanating from the country’s principal Asia Pacific markets.
Recognising the impact that AGTC will have on its golf tourism industry, Philippines Tourism Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer Cesar Montano said: “The Department of Tourism (DOT) through the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is looking forward to a most successful tourism convention. Hosting the AGTC 2018 is an impetus for Philippine golf tourism and our other sports industries. We warmly welcome partnering with institutions and agencies to bring forward the Philippines as the preferred sports destination in Southeast Asia. It is my pleasure to welcome the most influential golf tour operators selling Asian golf destinations to our beautiful islan through the AGTC. I invite you all to enjoy our fairways and treat our beautiful golf courses as your own home courses. Mabuhay!”
In a clear sign that all pillars of The Philippines’ golf tourism industry are pulling together to attract golf visitors, Philippine Airlines has been appointed as the AGTC 2018 Official Airline.
Top picture: The Philippines was announced as the AGTC 2018 Host Destination at AGCT 2017 in Danang, Vietnam Philippine Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary for Office of Public Affairs, Communications and Special Projects (OPACSP) Frederick Alegre (left), IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton (centre), Philippine Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operating Officer Cesar Montano (right)
AGTC 2018 www.iagto.com/agtc