IAGTO Awards’ 20th anniversary sees the Algarve top the rankings

17 October 2019
IAGTO Awards’ 20th anniversary sees the Algarve top the rankings

The 20th edition of IAGTO’s annual golf tourism awards has taken place in Marrakech on the final day of the International Golf Travel Market – with Portugal’s Algarve scooping the top prize.

To celebrate the occasion, IAGTO is revealing the top 15 golf destinations as voted for by its member golf tour operators and has announced just one overall Golf Destination of the Year, instead of one for each of five geographical regions.

The Algarve, a two-time European Golf Destination of the Year winner (2006 and 2014), picked up this prestigious accolade at the climax of the glitzy IAGTO Awards ceremony attended by well over 1,000 IGTM delegates.

IAGTO has over 700 golf tour operators in 63 countries and the top 15 golf destinations that they voted for were, in alphabetical order:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Algarve (Portugal)
  • Coastal South Carolina (USA)
  • Costa del Sol (Spain)
  • Cote d’Azur & Provence (France)
  • Dominican Republic
  • Fife (Scotland)
  • Lisbon Golf Coast (Portugal)
  • Marrakech (Morocco)
  • Monterey County (USA)
  • New Zealand
  • South West Ireland (Ireland)
  • Tenerife (Spain)
  • Vietnam
  • Western Cape/Garden Route (South Africa)

Cambodia was voted Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year by the journalists of the International Golf Travel Writers Association. For the revamped golf resort categories, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Moon Palace Cancun and Adare Manor picked up the Awards for Asia Pacific, The Americas and Europe, Africa & Middle East Golf Resort of the Year Awards respectively.

In a nod to the future, IAGTO unveiled a new category of Experience Awards where one golf course and one hotel in each of twenty-five countries were recognised for the outstanding experience that they delivered this year for visiting golf travellers. Once again voted for by IAGTO golf tour operators selling those 25 destinations.

Awards presenter Peter Walton, IAGTO Chief Executive, said: “As the guardians of the most important and prestigious golf tourism awards, for two decades now we have presented only a handful of awards each year which lends enormous gravitas to the event and significance to the winners. With only one Golf Destination of the Year Award the expectation was palpable. But we also took the opportunity to expand the Awards to other categories of companies with our Golf Experience and Hotel Experience awards. We will extend these next year to yet more countries so that every major golf destination will be able to celebrate achievements within their golf tourism industry.”

2020 IAGTO Awards winners
Golf Destination of the Year: The Algarve, Portugal
Golf Resort of the Year – Europe, Middle East & Africa: Adare Manor, Ireland
Golf Resort of the Year – The Americas: Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico
Asia Pacific Golf Resort of the Year: Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf Resort & Spa
Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Cambodia

Country or Region Hotel Experience /Golf Experience
Bulgaria: Lighthouse Golf & Spa Hotel / Thracian Cliffs
Caribbean: Casa de Campo Resort and VillasPunta Espada Golf Club
Cyprus; Almyra Hotel / PGA National Cyprus Golf Course
France: Hôtel Ermitage - Evian Resort / Albatross Course - Le Golf National
Morocco: Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech / Assoufid Golf Club
Gulf States: The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa / Yas Links Abu Dhabi
Indian Ocean: Anahita Golf & Spa Resort / Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club
Indonesia: Bintan Lagoon Resort / Bali National Golf Club
Ireland: Adare Manor / Old Head Golf Links
Italy: Verdura Resort / Golf Club Bogogno
Japan: Kawana Hotel / The North Country Club
Malaysia: The Magellan Sutera Resort / The Els Club Teluk Datai
Mexico: Moon Palace Cancun / El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Course
New Zealand: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs / Jack's Point Golf Course
Northern Ireland: The Bushmills InnArdglass Golf Club
Portugal: The Oitavos / Monte Rei Golf & Country Club
Scotland: The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa / Kingsbarns Golf Links
Slovenia: Grand Hotel Union / King’s Course - Royal Bled Golf
South Africa: Kwena Lodge - Gondwana Game Reserve / Pinnacle Point
Spain: Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya / Finca Cortesin
Thailand: The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok / Black Mountain Golf Club
Tunisia: La Cigale Tabarka Hôtel Thalasso & Spa - Golf / Golf Citrus Hammamet
Turkey: Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa / Carya Golf Club
USA: Trump National Doral / The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Vietnam: Anantara Hoi An Resort / Ba Na Hills Golf Club

For the eighth year, IAGTO’s partner in sustainability, the GEO Foundation, highlighted four exceptional golf courses with Aphrodite Hills of Cyprus being recognised for its outstanding contribution to sustainability

  • Photos and logos, together with the 2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards press release and comments and press releases from individual IAGTO Awards and IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners, can be downloaded from 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. 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 38 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.

Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry, and has over 2700 members in 101 countries including more than 700 golf tour operator members in 63 countries, which control more than 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of over €2.1 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along with regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000, the year in which the first prestigious annual IAGTO Awards also took place.

Photos & logos: Photos and logos can be downloaded from: www.iagto.com/awards

For further Information:
Guillaume Post
Marketing & Communications Manager
gpost@iagto.com │ Tel: +44 20 8096 3377

Guillaume post - Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8906 3377
Website: www.iagto.com