Destinations, golf courses and golf resorts from Florida, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Greece, Vietnam and Austria were lauded as the 17th annual IAGTO Awards took place at a gala dinner in Palma, Mallorca.
The event, attended by more than 1,000 golf tourism industry professionals, was held in Palma’s spectacular Son Amar show venue on the final night of the International Golf Travel Market.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “For 17 years now we have been recognising a handful of golf courses, golf resorts and golf destinations each year who have excelled in their efforts to deliver the best possible experience to the visiting golf traveller.
“This has become such a special event because the Awards are voted for by the world’s golf tour operators and golf travel writers and therefore carry great weight within the industry.
“There are always some great stories behind the winning destinations and resorts. We held our first IAGTO Awards in 2000 in Jacksonville accompanied by the city’s 60-piece Philharmonic Orchestra, so to see the North Florida region that encompasses Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Amelia Island picking up our North America Golf Destination of the Year Award, brought back a lot of good memories; Los Cabos is one of the world’s truly great golf destinations which is continuing to add new spectacular courses to its inventory; and Andalucía triumphed in Europe for the second time which is testimony to how well this expansive golf destination is working together.”
The 2017 IAGTO Sustainability Awards, which are run in conjunction with GEO (Golf Environment Organization), were also announced at the gala dinner.
2017 IAGTO Awards winners
Golf Destination of the Year – North America: North Florida, USA
Golf Destination of the Year – Latin America & Caribbean: Los Cabos, Mexico
Golf Destination of the Year – Africa & Gulf States: Western Cape, South Africa
Golf Destination of the Year – Europe: Andalucía, Spain
Golf Destination of the Year – Asia & Australasia: Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Golf Resort of the Year – Europe: Costa Navarino, Greece
Golf Resort of the Year – North America: Barefoot Resort & Golf, South Carolina, USA
Golf Resort of the Year – Rest of the World: Laguna Golf Lăng Cô, Vietnam
Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Kärnten (Carinthia), Austria
2017 IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners
Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Nature Protection: Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort, Kenya
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Community Value: Laguna Golf Phuket, Thailand
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Resource Efficiency: Pebble Beach Resorts, California, USA
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf: Machrihanish Dunes, Scotland
For the 2017 IAGTO Sustainability Awards press release, and comments and press releases from individual IAGTO Awards and IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners, visit www.iagto.com/awards.
Notes for Editors
The Golf Destination and Golf Resort awards are voted for by IAGTO’s specialist golf tour operator members that now number over 650 from 61 different countries. Each was asked to vote for what they considered to be the best-performing golf resorts of the year. They considered these criteria: customer satisfaction; quality of golf courses and accommodation; value for money; support from suppliers, tourist boards & airlines; professional conduct of suppliers; and accessibility to tee times.
The Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year Award is voted for by the 230 golf travel journalists from 36 countries of the International Golf Travel Writers Association, who consider the following: to what extent is the golf destination undiscovered; qualities that make for an interesting golf destination; attractiveness of the region and of the courses; golf course quality & accessibility; standard of accommodation; friendliness of the staff; value for money; speed of play; and climate.
IAGTO is the global trade organisation for the golf tourism industry, comprising more than 2,500 accredited golf tour operators, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, receptive operators, airlines, tourist boards, approved media and business partners in 96 countries. IAGTO operators control 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and their combined annual turnover exceed €2.1 billion each year.
Photos & logos: Photos and logos can be downloaded from: www.iagto.com/awards