With over 325 buyers, more than 500 exhibitors and in excess of 11,300 meetings taking place, the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) 2015, held for the first time in Tenerife, was one of the most successful editions ever.
The world’s premier global event for golf tourism suppliers, buyers and media, was again brought to a close by the 16th annual IAGTO Awards ceremony, which saw some of the golf industry’s best-performing destinations celebrated, including Mauritius, Vietnam, Lisboa Golf Coast, the Dominican Republic and Hilton Head Island.
The awards ceremony also saw Michael Campbell, one of New Zealand’s most successful sportspeople and winner of the 2005 US Open Championship, presented with an honorary award for his services to golf, following his retirement from the game earlier this year.
Campbell, who held off Tiger Woods to win the major title, along with claiming the HSBC World Match Play Championship title in the same year, was guest of honour at the gala dinner, staged at Siam Park, Costa Adeje, Tenerife, on October 8.
Also celebrated during the evening were the Golf Resort of the Year from three geographic regions, with the Seve Ballesteros designed Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort claiming the European award, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge winning the North America category, while Banyan The Resort Hua Hin, Thailand won the Rest of the World prize.
Environmentally friendly golf resorts from Asia, Europe and The Americas were also celebrated during the ceremony, in the 2016 Sustainable Golf Course Of The Year category, in association with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO).
Designed to recognise an exceptional commitment throughout the golf operation, with regards to nature enhancement, resource efficiency and community values, the winners were Mission Hills Haikou, China, La Galiana Campo de Golf, Valencia, Spain, and PGA National Resort & Spa, Florida, USA respectively.
In previous year’s, notable winners of the IAGTO Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year Award include Bulgaria, Vietnam and Slovenia, with the 2015 prize being claimed by Tasmania, an island off Australia’s south coast and home to more than 65 golf courses.
Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, said: “The 2015 IAGTO Awards have once again provided the perfect way to bring the curtain down on what has been another very successful edition of IGTM.
“IGTM continues to provide an accurate gauge of the golf travel industry and with key buyers attending the three-day event, along with exhibitors from 65 countries highlighting the vast array of experiences available to golf travellers across the globe, 2016 looks set to be another positive year for the entire market.
“Our host venue, Tenerife, fulfilled all of our expectations in terms of infrastructure and hospitality and we are already looking forward