At the Opening Address of IAGTO’s (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) 4th annual North America Golf Tourism Convention, IAGTO Chief Executive, Peter Walton, announced the launch of IAGTO-USA, a division of the global golf travel association which will be dedicated to the development of services and activities for its American members.
IAGTO-USA currently has 128 golf resort, golf club, hotel, inbound operator and tourist board members alongside 45 accredited golf tour operators based in the USA.
Walton said: “Some 50% of our industry partner members in the USA are golf resorts, and our objective is to increase the number from 60 to 200 by the end of next year. IAGTO is in a unique position to help drive golf travel business to our members from both international and domestic markets, and so far we have only scratched the surface. During this Convention, we unveiled a new raft of services available only to our supplier members in the USA, all to be delivered without any increase in our annual membership fees which have remained at $890 for the past five years. Specifically, we will help prepare a Mini-Strategy or ‘roadmap’ for each of our members, designed to elicit greater visitor numbers from the 232 IAGTO golf tour operator members selling golf destinations in the North America, along with greater media penetration working alongside our approved media partners worldwide.”
Walton added “Many of our members in the USA have a limited amount of time to dedicate to golf tour operator sales, so in addition to providing the tools for doing the job and the global buyer network, which we have done for the past 15 years, we are now actually going to assist each of our members with the implementation of an action plan designed specifically for them.”
“I think IAGTO-USA will increase the profile of IAGTO and golf tourism in the US,” said NAC attendee Dan Sullivan, Director of Sales & Marketing, GreenLinks Golf Villas at Lely Resort, Naples, Florida. “IAGTO-USA coincides wonderfully with the launch of Brand USA, the new tourism marketing engine for the United States. Membership in IAGTO has been an ideal fit for us. Having the affiliation with IAGTO-USA will further increase our stature and our ability to book group golf business.”
“We have over 60 properties nationwide that I’m sure will benefit from our new friends in IAGTO-USA,” said fellow attendee Jay Glover, Regional Sales Manager for Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, Indio, California.
“We are excited to have the insight and experience of the IAGTO team to help us position our property, packages and promotions,” added Brandy Meyer, Director of Sales for Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York, Pennsylvania. “We feel like we have a partner in IAGTO. They truly get it. Helping the suppliers benefits the operators too. Everyone wins!”
The 4th IAGTO North America Golf Tourism Convention (NAC) took place in Biloxi on Mississippi’s ‘Golf Coast’ from 6-9 June. It was attended by 204 delegates including suppliers from the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and buyers from 25 countries including a strong domestic contingent and specialist golf tour operators from key Canadian, European and Latin American markets as well as from as far afield as Thailand, Singapore and China.
INFORMATION FOR THE EDITOR
Full details of the Convention are available at www.iagto.com/NAC
Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry with more than 1,900 member companies in 90 countries including 450 golf tour operators in 58 countries who control 85% of all golf holiday packages sold worldwide worth over US$1 billion per year. IAGTO runs a successful North America Convention, now in its 4th year, along with its annual Mid Year Convention and regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Market, now owned and operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions, in 1997. IAGTO also runs the annual Golf Tourism Awards and established the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000.
Currently 261 of IAGTO’s 1923 member companies are from North America and 232 of IAGTO’s 454 golf tour operators in 58 countries sell golf destinations in North America.
PHOTOS & LOGOS
Photos and logos can be downloaded from these links:
NAC Photo Library