2018 IAGTO Awards – Winners’ Comments

12 December 2017
2018 IAGTO Awards – Winners’ Comments

North American Golf Destination of the Year: North Carolina
Wit Tuttell, Executive Director, Visit North Carolina: “We are honored North Carolina won the 2018’s Golf Destination of the Year for North America. This award from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators strengthens North Carolina’s position as a premier golf destination with stunning landscapes cradling courses from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Atlantic coast. North Carolina has more than 400 resort and public golf courses for championship rounds and leisurely play. We are proud of our rich golf traditions in North Carolina and look forward to continuing to provide some of the best golf for visitors from around the world.”

Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America & the Caribbean: The Bahamas
Anthony Stuart, Director UK & Europe, The Bahamas Tourist Office: “I would like to express the gratitude of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation to the IAGTO members for awarding The Islands of The Bahamas the greatest accolade of being the best golf destination in the region. It is an award made possible by the hard work and dedication of all our resort owners, golf managers and staff who make our beautiful islands such a glorious place to golf and enjoy visiting.”

European Golf Destination of the Year: Costa Blanca, Spain
Francesc Colomer, Minister of Tourism, Region of Valencia: “The Costa Blanca has become a major golf destination thanks to the outstanding flight connections, the climate, the complimentary offer and obviously the quality of the courses designed by some of the most prestigious names in the world of golf such as Ballesteros, Nicklaus, Olazábal and others. This award is a recognition of the efforts made by the professionals of golf and tourism in the Region of Valencia and Costa Blanca. The award will provide us with the final impulse to become a favourite destination for those who love playing golf to discover our rich historical heritage, local culture and gastronomy, and enjoy an unbeatable range of services in an excellent climate throughout the year on the shores of the Mediterranean.”

Golf Destination of the Year for Africa, the Gulf States & Indian Ocean: Dubai
Christian Roemer, Golf Tourism Manager, Falcon Golf (established in 2016 to optimise the benefits golf brings to Dubai): “Given the standing of IAGTO and its truly global membership base, winning this award is a significant moment for Dubai’s golf industry. It also indicates that the emirate’s golf tourism strategy is working and that the recent launch of www.golfindubai.com is making a real impact. With Dubai’s existing world-class facilities and courses, coupled with the new courses coming online imminently, there is a clear opportunity ahead of us to bring greater golf tourism to Dubai and we look forward to continuing our work alongside IAGTO.”

Golf Destination of the Year for Asia & Australasia: New Zealand
Stephen England-Hall, Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand: “This is a great result and fantastic recognition of the work the industry and Tourism New Zealand have done to showcase the country’s world class golf offering. An award like this gives New Zealand incredible international exposure as a must-visit golfing destination. It’s a remarkable result considering New Zealand is up against well-established golfing destinations like Thailand, Australia and

Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Flanders, Belgium
Peter De Wilde, CEO, VisitFlanders: “It always gives us a good feeling when initiatives to promote tourism in our region get recognised and rewarded. The IAGTO Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year Award is testament to the work the guys from GolfVlaanderen supported by Jo Maes, of PAR4OUR Golf Consulting and the Tee Time Market, have done this year. It underlines the quality of the golf courses we have in Flanders.”

European Golf Resort of the Year Aphrodite Hills Resort, Cyprus
Andrew Darker, Golf Director, Aphrodite Hills: “Aphrodite Hills Resort is honoured to have been selected as Best European Golf Resort 2018. During 2017 Aphrodite Hills Golf has invested €2.5 million to upgrade the course and continues with a further €2 million investment to extend and refurbish the clubhouse facilities. Moreover, we are proud to have joined the PGA Branded facilities in becoming the PGA National, Cyprus. Aphrodite Hills Resort is a destination of its own, offering five-star accommodation with the golf course on site. We would like to thank the tour operator members of IAGTO and our golf team look forward to the continuous cooperation.”

North American Golf Resort of the Year Pebble Beach Resorts, USA
Bill Perocchi, CEO, Pebble Beach Company: “We are honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award, especially as we approach several milestones in our company history including the 2018 U.S. Amateur, 2019 U.S. Open and our centennial celebration in 2019,” said “Our goal is always to exceed the expectations of our guests and provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we are very proud to be recognized for the hard work that our valued employees provide on a daily basis.”

Golf Resort of the Year – Rest of the World: Fancourt, South Africa
Peter Dros, Sales and Marketing Director, Fancourt: “We are honoured that international tour operators have selected Fancourt as the Golf Resort of the Year Award (in the category ‘Rest of the World’). To be recognised by IAGTO cements Fancourt’s position as a global landmark for golfing and leisure travel, where golf takes pride of place. Furthermore, with plenty to offer beyond outstanding golf, Fancourt is the perfect place at which to base oneself while exploring the varied attractions on the Garden Route, in South Africa. Fancourt was the very first recipient of IAGTO’s Golf Resort of the Year Award in 2004, and to be awarded the same – 13 years later – echoes our continual strive for excellence.”

IAGTO Sustainability Awards

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency: Finca Cortesin, Spain
Miguel Girbés, Director of Golf, Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa: “It’s a tremendous honour for the resort to be given this award and to receive global recognition for our work in conserving the environment. Finca Cortesin’s privileged location allows our guests to enjoy the magnificent natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, and we realise how important it is that this is both preserved and enhanced. The subject of water conservation for golf resorts in Spain has never been more important, and the programme that we have undertaken in the last 12 months will ensure that the resort has a long-term and sustainable strategy that is good for the environment, but also enables us to continue to provide the deluxe experience that are guests expect.”

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection: Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Costa Rica
Jose Torres, General Manager, Los Sueños Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort: “We are honored and humbled to be recognised with this prestigious award for our golf course and environmental efforts. The surrounding rainforest is very important to our community in helping to preserve the environment. Awards like the IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection show that our efforts are making an impact.”

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value: Golf della Montecchia, Italy
Paolo Casati, President, Golf della Montecchia: “Golf della Montecchia course, part of PlayGolf54 Group, has hosted several editions of the Challenge Tour and Alps Tour. Its magic relies upon both its technical value and the wonderful landscape of the surrounding Euganean Hills, a rich natural heritage of flora and fauna we are committed to preserve. The course is maintained in accordance with innovative and environmentally friendly procedures, resulting from studies carried out in cooperation with several scientific institutions. Such policy has brought about important benefits to our venue and the whole regional and national territory alike, raising awareness among all our partners and members, especially the junior ones.”

Guillaume post - Marketing & Communications Manager
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