2019 IAGTO Awards - Winners’ Comments

18 October 2018
2019 IAGTO Awards - Winners’ Comments

North American Golf Destination of the Year: Scottsdale, Arizona
Nicole Krekeler, Tourism Manager, Experience Scottsdale: “Scottsdale is honored to be named 2019’s North American Golf Destination of the year,” said “We are proud to offer visitors more than 51 resort and public golf courses within our desert oasis, where more than 8 million rounds of golf are played each year. This award from IAGTO bolsters Scottsdale’s position as a premier golf destination, and we look forward to continuing our tradition of providing visitors from near and far with some of the best rounds of golf found in the region.”

Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America & the Caribbean: Dominican Republic
Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism: “We are incredibly proud and honored to receive the IAGTO Award for Latin America & the Caribbean Golf Destination of the Year for the fourth time in a row. We have worked diligently to establish Dominican Republic as the go-to destination for golf and are thrilled our hard work and breathtaking infrastructure have been recognized by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators as the 2019 Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America and the Caribbean. Golf is an integral part of Dominican Republic’s tourism, and one we are continually investing in to increase the variety and quality of offerings in this space and stay top-of-mind not only for the international golf community, but our many tourists who are passionate about the sport of golf.”

European Golf Destination of the Year: Costa del Sol, Spain
Elias Bendodo, President, Costa del Sol Tourist Board: “It is an honour for us to receive this award from IAGTO. The recognition of the Costa del Sol as European golf destination of the year reaffirms our leadership in a segment which Costa del Sol Tourist Board has considered a priority for several years, based on an underlying strategy which aims to achieve optimal management of seasonality. And now, thanks to this award, both the organisation, and the destination, have received a huge incentive to continue working, alongside our valued partners and industry members, to maximise the golfers’ experience, thanks to the quality and quantity of more than 70 golf courses, excellent air connectivity, transport, resorts, hotels and, of course, the multitude of leisure and entertainment services offered by the destination.”

Golf Destination of the Year for Africa, the Gulf States & Indian Ocean: Mauritius
Amrita Craig Marketer, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority: “We are delighted to receive this award once again in recognition of the efforts of the private and public sectors working together to deliver the best possible experience to visiting golf travelers. The MTPA is committed to supporting the promotion of golf tourism and the implementation of a golf tourism strategy that will achieve growth and attract more visitors from this affluent niche market. We will continue to work with IAGTO and MGTA to position Mauritius as an established and integrated golf destination on the world stage.”

Golf Destination of the Year for Asia & Australasia: Hua Hin, Thailand
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand: “It is truly an honour to be conferred this prestigious award for the second time in five years. I would like to thank all the members of the IAGTO who voted for us. Over the years, Thailand’s outstanding golf courses have won numerous awards, and we are committed to ensuring the high standards of professionalism and quality that earns us these votes of confidence year after year. We are also gratified to see Hua Hin continuing to be recognised as one of Thailand's most popular golf tourism destinations, especially amongst the emerging generation of young women golfers in countries; such as, China, India, Japan and Korea. We wish them all a warm welcome.”

Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Logroño-La Rioja, Spain
María Pilar Montes, City Councillor of Tourism, Logroño-La Rioja: “For us, receiving this award gives value to the creation of our exclusive ‘Golf and Wine’ product intended for golfers from around the world and it means global recognition for our work. La Rioja is the only place where it is possible to play golf on four courses while you enjoy the local gastronomy discovering the best restaurants, trying the best tapas and enjoying the unique experience of tasting famous Riojan wines in the wineries themselves. When you do that you will understand why Logroño was declared ‘First Spanish City of Gastronomy’ in 2012. This exclusive experience and the expertise of all those involved has caught the attention of influential journalists who vote for this award, and this is the reason why we feel honoured to receive this prestigious award.”

European Golf Resort of the Year: Gleneagles, Scotland
Conor O’Leary, General Manager, Gleneagles: “Gleneagles is an authentically Scottish experience; a destination for fun and adventure in one of the most luxurious and beautiful settings imaginable. There are few places in the world that offer the same breadth of opportunities and activities we have here at The Glen. To receive this accolade from votes cast by the golf travel industry reflects the significant progress we continue to make in re-affirming our place in luxury hospitality.”

North American Golf Resort of the Year: Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Canada
Norman Mastalir, Managing Director, Fairmont Chateau Whistler: “We are honoured to be acknowledged as the best golf resort in North America. Carved out of the slopes of the Coast Mountain range in British Columbia (home to Whistler Blackcomb), the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Course allows nature to dictate the path without constraints of commercial influence. Wildlife, scenery and incredible vistas are signature to our course, and they’re truly extraordinary. For 25 years, we’ve strived to elevate the mountain golf experience for our guests and we are delighted to put Canadian golf on the map.”

Asia Pacific Golf Resort of the Year: Mission Hills Haikou, China
Tenniel Chu, Vice-Chairman, the Mission Hills Group: “2018 has been significant for Hainan with a number of reforms announced to further boost the province as an International Tourism Island. This includes visa-free entry for 59 countries, which is more great news for golf tourism on the tropical island known as China’s Hawaii. This recognition from IAGTO is a great honour. Since my late father founded Mission Hills in 1992, our family’s vision has been to bring China to the world and the world to China. Thanks to the loyalty and support of IAGTO members for more than two decades, together we have been able to turn this dream into a reality.”

IAGTO Sustainability Awards

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency: Gardagolf Country Club, Italy
Orlando Tradati, President, Gardagolf Country Club: “We are so honoured to be recognised worldwide with this prestigious award. We are proud of being the host venue of a hugely successful 75th Italian Open, the first one in history ever awarded to a golf club with GEO Foundation Certification. This honour means a lot to us, since we are aware of the rich natural heritage of flora and fauna we own, and that we intend to preserve. The results we have obtained have brought about important benefits to our venue and the whole regional and national territory alike, raising awareness among all our partners and members. We really thank all those who believe that the health of the environment and of the players has an overall importance in the world of golf.”

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection: Jack’s Point Golf, New Zealand
John Griffin, General Manager, Jack’s Point Golf: “We are delighted to have achieved this international recognition for our ongoing work to preserve our unique natural environment at Jack’s Point. Simon Forshaw, Jack’s Point Course Superintendent, has been instrumental in leading the team’s sustainability and nature protection initiatives since the start of the course build in 2005. It is very much thanks to his efforts that we are privileged to have received this award.”

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value: Al Mouj Golf, Oman
Mubarak Hill, Club Manager, Al Mouj Golf: ““It is with great pride that we accept the IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value; an outstanding accolade which represents the tremendous efforts we, as one of the region’s leading clubs, have taken a lead in implementing. As occupiers of some of the most stunning landscapes, golf clubs have a duty to protect natural habitats and ensure their operations present local communities, wildlife or vegetation with no cause for concern. As well as improving our practices, the best way for us to do this is by engaging the local community in our efforts, and we are delighted to have been recognised in both of these areas by IAGTO.”

IAGTO Sustainability Awards – Special Award: Vidago Palace, Portugal
Paulo Ferreira, Golf Director, Vidago Palace: “This award is recognition for the care and responsibility the entire green keeping team applies to their work. We are all very proud of the local environment and want to do everything we can to protect and enhance it. We are extremely grateful for the award and the invaluable value that this brings to our community and golf course. We always put a lot of effort into being a sustainable golf course, and this award reflects the commitment and hard work that our maintenance team does on a daily bases. Making sustainable actions, and using the resources more efficiently, is almost an obsession for us, and we do believe that Vidago Palace can know be seen as role model for others to come. We are very proud of this recognition, but at the same time aware of the responsibility that this award will bring to us. We hope to continue in this way, and to become even more efficient and sustainable in the future.”

Guillaume Post - Marketing & Communications Manager
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Website: www.iagto.com