2017 IAGTO Awards Winners’ Quotes

17 November 2016
2017 IAGTO Awards Winners’ Quotes

Golf Destination of the Year – North America: North Florida
David Reese, President, Florida’s First Coast of Golf: “We are truly humbled and grateful to be named the 2017 North American Golf Destination of the year. To be selected amongst so many amazing golf destinations throughout the US, Mexico and Canada is truly an honour. We cherish our relationships with all IAGTO tour operators and thank them for entrusting our region to deliver a memorable experience for their clients. We also appreciate the members of the media for covering North East Florida for so many years.”

Golf Destination of the Year – Latin America & Caribbean: Los Cabos
Rodrigo Esponda Cascajares, Managing Director, Los Cabos Tourism Board: “We are delighted to accept this prestigious award from the world’s leading association of golf travel providers,” said. “Dating back to the early 1990s, we have welcomed some of the most spectacular golf facilities in the world. The recent addition of several outstanding newcomers has raised the bar of excellence and taken the Los Cabos golf scene to the next level.”

Golf Destination of the Year – Africa & Gulf States: Western Cape, South Africa
Carl Reinders, Owner, ProGolf African Safaris, speaking on behalf of South African golf tour operators: “It is fantastic to win this award in which we were up against Abu Dhabi, Agadir, Dubai and Casablanca. I hope it will encourage more golfers to visit South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape. South Africa has now been awarded an IAGTO Destination or Golf Resort Award for the seventh time since 2003, which highlights just what a fantastic golf destination our beautiful country is and the wonderful golf it has to offer.” 

Golf Destination of the Year – Europe: Andalucía, Spain
Francisco Javier Fernández, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Andalucía said the award was the most evident proof of the “quality and excellence” of the golf offered by the region. Fernández, who collected the award at the Gala Dinner in Palma, Mallorca, highlighted the “attractive and diverse complimentary offers of the region that suit almost all the preferences and desires of the visitor” and contribute to enhance Andalucía as one of the most complete and competitive destinations worldwide.

Golf Destination of the Year – Asia & Australasia: Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand: “I am delighted that Chiang Mai has been voted as the Asia & Australasia Golf Destination of the Year for 2017 by IAGTO. It is fitting that the city is now internationally recognised for the high quality of its golf courses, for it is a little-known fact that Chiang Mai is home to Thailand’s first-ever golf course, created way back in 1898. Golfers love that within just a few kilometres of the city they can find challenging, state-of-the-art courses, all with a stunning backdrop of the Northern hills. And they can end the day’s play enjoying traditional Northern hospitality, spa treatments and unique delectable cuisine.”

Golf Resort of the Year – Europe: Costa Navarino, Greece
Stephanos Theodorides, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of TEMES SA – Costa Navarino: “We are both delighted and honoured that tour operator members of IAGTO have selected Costa Navarino as the Best European Golf Resort 2017.  With its variety of challenging yet rewarding courses by the sea, and perfect weather all year round, Costa Navarino is fast establishing itself as a leading destination to excite golf aficionados.  Furthermore, with plenty to offer beyond exceptional golfing, Costa Navarino introduces guests to a plethora of authentic experiences, combining culture and history, thus becoming the perfect, all season getaway.”

Golf Resort of the Year – North America: Barefoot Resort & Golf, South Carolina, USA
Dave Genevro, Barefoot Resort & Golf General Manager: “We are honoured to have won this award and it’s a testament to the entire team at Barefoot Resort, beginning with the ownership of the Puglia family and their dedication to making Barefoot a premier resort. Every day our goal is provide a premier golf experience and that begins at the bag drop and extends through the 19th hole. This award is validation of that hard work and one we are extremely proud of.”

Golf Resort of the Year – Rest of the World: Laguna Golf Lăng Cô, Vietnam
Chi Phan, Laguna Läng Cô Assistant Vice President, Director of Operations: “Winning the IAGTO Golf Resort of the Year award is a significant milestone and recognition to Laguna Golf Lăng Cô team’s dedication in providing high quality resort and course facilities with exceptional experience. It comes on the heels of the recent 2nd annual Laguna Golf Classic hosted by Laguna Golf brand ambassador and course designer Sir Nick Faldo and we are set to welcome our guests for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in March 2017.”

Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Kärnten (Carinthia), Austria
Christian Kresse, Managing Director, Carinthian Tourist Board: “Carinthia lies in the south of Austria between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea: a special location that holds various benefits. Its mild climate, stunning scenery with mountains such as the Grossglockner, numerous warm recreational lakes like the Wörthersee and naturally also the delicious local cuisine make Carinthia a holiday region offering great variety for families. Golfers can also enjoy Carinthia’s beautiful countryside on the region’s courses, which are all renowned for their high standards. Many of the Carinthian golf clubs are partners in Alpe-Adria-Golf Card, a cooperation with our friends in Slovenia and Friuli Venezia Giulia that enables golfers to play in three countries with only one ticket. I am delighted that Carinthia has won the international Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year award and I feel sure that we will now attract even more visitors with our unique Alpe-Adria-Golf Card.”

2016 IAGTO Sustainability Awards Winners’ Quotes

Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
Teresa Wade, founder of Experience Green, local non-profit organisation that promotes sustainability: “It is an honour to be recognised by IAGTO and GEO and receive this award for sustainability throughout the destination. Hilton Head Island was developed on sustainable guidelines, and continues leadership for sustainability through measurable and transparent initiatives with people and partnerships at the centre of its success.  It is rewarding to know that this good work, with golf at the core of its focus, will benefit residents and visitors, both natural and human, today and for generations to come.”

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Nature Protection: Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort, Kenya
Mohammed Hersi, CEO, Heritage Hotels: “We are humbled and extremely elated that our efforts at improving our immediate environment with our partners has received such a major recognition. It’s an endorsement to our shareholders' vision and a major boost for the stakeholders involved. As a company, we strongly believe in giving back and looking after our environment. The Eburru Forest remains one of the few places in Kenya where the elusive Bongo remains in the wild. We owe it to our future generations to look after our bio-diversity.”

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Community Value: Laguna Golf Phuket, Thailand
Paul Wilson, Laguna Golf Assistant Vice President/Group Golf Director: “Laguna Golf, part of Banyan Tree Group, is proud to be recognised by the established IAGTO Awards with two prestigious awards. Echoing the Group’s ethos of Asian-inspired hospitality and sustainability, IAGTO provides the platform for us to raise the bar and spur us to be forward-thinking in the continual strive for service excellence while leading the way in sustainability for a superior golf experience.”

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Resource Efficiency: Pebble Beach Resorts, California, USA
Bill Perocchi, CEO of Pebble Beach Company: “Pebble Beach is surrounded by stunning natural beauty integral to the golf and visitor experience, and our environmental efforts have allowed us to make great strides in preserving the legacy of our property for our guests. We are proud to be the recipient of an award that recognises these important efforts, and look forward to continuing our environmental stewardship of this beautiful corner of the world for generations to come.” 

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf: Machrihanish Dunes, Scotland
David Southworth, Founder and CEO of Southworth Development, the parent company of The Village at Machrihanish Dunes: “We are thrilled to have received this special award from GEO and IAGTO. Our company places great importance on being good stewards of the environment, and Machrihanish Dunes has shown that it’s possible to provide an even more elevated experience to visitors by putting ecological responsibilities at the forefront. We consider ourselves privileged to have the opportunity to stand watch over this precious shore land, and to make it possible for so many people to come to Machrihanish and enjoy it. It’s a responsibility that we welcome—and one that we also take very seriously.”

Guillaume post - Marketing & Communications Manager
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