Established in 1997, IAGTO's membership comprises 2424 accredited golf tour operators, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, receptive operators, airlines, tourist boards, approved media and business partners in 91 countries including, at its core, 676 specialist golf tour operators in 63 countries. IAGTO’s operators control over 90% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and turnover more than €2.5 billion per year.
As stated by IAGTO’s founder and chief executive, Peter Walton, "IAGTO strives to provide information and create opportunities that help its members develop their business faster, with less effort and less cost. In addition to organizing fam trips, press trips, workshops, destination conventions and events, our staff around the world are constantly developing new services for our members to take advantage of and we pride ourselves on being at the heart of the golf tourism industry”.
Whilst its primary goal has always been to develop services and activities to directly benefit its growing membership, IAGTO now has a much broader remit to maintain and raise standards throughout the industry and to help destinations position themselves not only to attract more business but to deliver the best possible experience to the visiting golf traveller.
Over the two decades IAGTO has produced the Golf Tourism Strategies for more than 35 countries and regions and provides consultation and advice to many more on a continual basis. IAGTO also carries out Golf Tourism Audits to assess the strengths and weaknesses of golf courses striving to attract more visitors. IAGTO has also developed a Quality Assured Certification program for to qualify and identify golf facilities delivering the best possible experience to first-time golf visitors.
IAGTO also runs three annual Conventions that cover the globe: The North America Golf Tourism Convention (NAC), Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) and European Convention (IEC), bringing buyers and suppliers together in equal numbers to meet and talk business on a regional level. In addition to regular Destination Conventions, IAGTO takes over 300 operators and media on fam and press trips to golf destinations across the globe every year.
In 2000, IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) to recognize and support quality journalists from around the world who enhance the industry through their high quality reporting of golf destinations in print, online and television media.
In order to reward the outstanding achievements of many undiscovered, emerging and established golf destinations along with individual golf resorts, IAGTO celebrates the end of each year with the IAGTO Golf Tourism Awards. The success of the golf travel industry will forever be dependent on the overall popularity of the game, and for this reason IAGTO also presents an Honorary Award each year. Recipients to date include Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Price, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Tony Jacklin, Ernie Els and Costantino Rocca.
IAGTO’s global head office is based in London, England, with representatives spanning the world.
IAGTO Ltd is registered in England No. 3507678 under UK SIC Code 9112 "Membership Organisation/Professional Organisation" (VAT No. 710 1940 78)