“This has been the single most effective event we have ever had in this region – and not just for the Inn on Fifth, but the destination. The quality of operators is top notch, the clientele represented by them is top notch and the brochures the operators have demonstrates that their clientele frequents luxury resorts around the world, making them the ideal clientele for Naples. I am gobsmacked by the enthusiasm and calibre of the attendees of this convention. The one remarkable thing about it is the number of countries represented; in two days we have been able to showcase our product to 20 or more international markets. The convention has been phenomenal; I came here with no expectations, so I am thrilled.”

Cathy Christopher, director of sales & marketing, The Inn on Fifth, Naples, Florida

“We just joined IAGTO four months ago, so this is my first convention. I think this is fabulous – I am really thrilled. It is so well organised and it is intimate enough to see the people you want to. I am hoping to get a lot of business. We work with the domestic operators but we don’t get to see them as much as we used to, so it has been very useful to be able to see them here. Well done, IAGTO.”

Cherri Lamont, senior account executive, Marriott International

“This has exceeded our expectations. If we don’t get business from the event it is our own fault. The quality of buyers has been even better than I had hoped it would be. What has been good for us has been the domestic US operators.”

Barry Owens, general manager, Treetops Resort, Michigan

“After five years of attending this convention, this was the best run, well organised event and with the best facilities that IAGTO has put together. It has been amazing. Kudos to IAGTO. I will definitely be back next year.”

Jeff Neal, director, Punta Cana Resort & Golf Club, Dominican Republic

“This is my fourth NAC and I think it has been as productive as previous ones. There is always going to be a large presence from markets like the UK and Germany but we are starting to see more interest from other markets like Brazil and Argentina. I will definitely be going next year and I would love to be able to host it in Palm Springs in the future.”

Ashlee Ciora, travel industry sales vice president, Great Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau

“It was the first time that Visit Florida has been actively involved with the NAC and it has absolutely been worthwhile being part of. I just want to take it forward and see how we can work together and bring added value to our partners. We have more golf courses than any other state and different seasons across the state, and at all price points”

Tracy Vaughan, international sales and marketing director, Visit Florida

“I have been to AGTC in Asia for the past three years but this is my first time at NAC. I have found it very useful and well organised. We send people to Pebble Beach, Las Vegas and the Masters. This area will probably be a good destination for the Chinese. We are going to put Florida in as a new destination and promote it.”

Scott Lu, general manager, EzGolf Tours, China

“I knew this area generally but I hadn’t been to Marco Island. I love the set up, the fact that everything is close to the beach. This is my first NAC. I was expecting to get less out of it than I am going back with.”

Jonathan Millar, director, Bryan Somers Travel, Northern Ireland

“This is my first NAC. It is very useful for us. Because we are all members of IAGTO, you can trust the people you are meeting. I have had very good meetings. Spain is new for me and I think I will be sending people there. The Japanese market is getting better. Before, I never thought about Japanese just going away to play golf but these days they do. It is a big opportunity for all in this destination.”

Shuhei Togano, director, Esprit Golf Japan

“This is my second NAC. It’s a really good convention for us and the buyers have been very good quality. That’s one of the best things about it. We just need to get the Tucson and Phoenix CVBs along with some more hotels. I will definitely recommend that at the Governor’s Conference in July. I will say what a positive show it was for Scottsdale and that we need a state-wide presence.”

Sarah Kearney, senior tourism sales manager, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

“This is the first time that The Biltmore has taken part in the IAGTO NAC. I am very impressed with it. The quality of the buyers and meetings has been great. We are here to do business for our companies, but aside from that there is time to relax and develop relationships. I will definitely recommend to our owners that we must be at this event next year, and I will also recommend that we should have a dedicated golf presence, especially for the international market.”

Cathy Rodriguez, leisure sales manager, The Biltmore Hotel, Florida

“We opened in December 2012. This is our first NAC, and we are very pleased with it. It is the best way for us to reach out to international tour operators. We are very impressed with how the event is run. Colombia is starting to boom as a golf destination; we are trying to replicate what Mexico did with places like Cancun and the Baja Peninsula. We will definitely be here next year.”

Joseph Mildenberg, marketing and sales director, Karibana Beach Golf Condominium, Colombia

“This is our first NAC; we just joined IAGTO this year. Everybody has been great at IAGTO – you can tell they just want it to be successful for you. The buyers have all been very interested in our product. It is just a great event. We don’t do much through tour operators at the moment but we are hoping to do that in the future, and that’s the whole idea of being here.”

Jeff Barry, director of sales, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Georgia

“This has been a very good step in the right direction. We have made some good contacts and if we continue we will be able to get some good results from it.”

Marco Polacci, Marco Polacci Promotions/IAGTO Spain representative

“I have been to every NAC. I was very impressed with the attendees this year. To see that kind of growth for the NAC in such a short time bodes well for IAGTO and the whole golf tourism industry going forward I fully expect 90%+ of our meetings I had will bear fruit. If you are a golf destination you have got to be here. I would highly recommend it.”

David Reese, president, Florida’s First Coast of Golf

“It is only two days, but you get a lot of things done in that time. The organisation is very good, and everyone including the staff at the hotel have been great. I have found it very useful. I am going to start sending people here in December when the direct services to Fort Lauderdale start from Stockholm and Copenhagen. That was the reason I came here. I have been very impressed with Naples and Marco Island - both the hotels and the golf courses. Combining Fort Lauderdale with here is very likely.”

Ronnie Olovsson, Time Travel, Sweden

“I have been to every NAC. My business is primarily domestic, so for me almost every supplier is someone I already do business with. I brought two employees with me and it has been very worthwhile attending. There are some new people here we are thinking of doing business with in future. I will be coming back next year, with two other people.”

Ed Holofcener, president, Golf Zoo, USA

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