Turismo de Portugal's Golf Plan, estimates growth of over 20%

11 January 2007

The Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Manuel Pinho, presided over the presentation of Turismo de Portugal's Golf Plan for the period 2007 - 2009, in a session to be held in Campo Victoria, Vilamoura at 11:30 a.m., Friday, January 5.

The plan estimates that the sector will enjoy 21% overall growth, thus guaranteeing a further €2 billion in revenues, and maximising Portugal's public image as a world-class golf destination.

The Portugal Masters event will be launched, immediately positioned as one of Europe’s leading golf championships.  The plan thus aims to generate over 1.4 million overnights of foreign tourists and 1.7 million golf matches.

Turismo de Portugal will guarantee over half (52%) of the total investment, budgeted at €25 million, and the other 48% will be provided by public and private entities.

The plan's inherent promotional strategy includes dissemination of Golf Portugal - Algarve, Lisbon region, Madeira and the Azores - in priority markets and by hosting events that are likely to attract tourists that have high purchasing power, to Portugal.  The key target markets include the United Kingdom (28% of players) and Scandinavia (21%).

By defining strategic objectives, the plan also aims to attenuate seasonality factors, through scheduled events, divided in a balanced manner across the various regions of the country, thus improving and furthering the competitiveness of these destinations and guaranteeing desirable media coverage of such events, of the existing infrastructures available and the sites where the events are held.

It has also been possible to attract a number of anchor events to Portugal, for a three-year period, including a competition ranked amongst the top five events in the European calendar (Portugal Masters).

Portugal Masters, negotiated between Turismo de Portugal and PGA European Tour, will take place between October 18 and 21, in the Victoria Clube de Golfe, in Vilamoura, and is guaranteed as an annual event, until 2009.

This competition will offer a minimum prize-money of €3 million, thus making it one of the most attractive competitions at world level, and increasing Portugal’s international prestige in this sport and fostering better conditions for continued growth.

Portugal Masters will operate alongside the Madeira Island Open (in March), the Nations Cup (March/ Algarve), the Estoril Open of Portugal (April), the Ladies Open of Portugal (May/Algarve) and the Azores Seniors Open (June).
The return on the investment in the Portugal Masters event, will be guaranteed via television broadcast of the event, which will ensure that it reaches the whole world, with an estimated 600 hours to be broadcasted.
Thanks to the natural conditions offered by Portugal and recent investments in the infrastructures required for this sport, the country is increasingly affirming itself as a leading destination for golf players.

For example, Portugal was recently elected as the "Best Golf Destination 2006” by readers of Today Golfer´s, the leading specialist magazine for this sport in Great Britain, with over 751,000 readers.  This distinction follows other recently received distinctions, thus confirming the wisdom of the strategy to develop and promote Portugal as one of the world's leading golf destinations.

(Click for larger image)

(From left to the right):
Manuel Agrellos (President of the Portuguese Golf Federation),
Laurentino Dias (Secretary of State for Sports),
Bradley Dredge (European tour Golf Player),
Keith Waters (Director of International Policy for The European Tour),
Manuel Pinho (Economy Minister of Portugal),
André Jordan (Chairman of André Jordan Group),
Bernardo Trindade (Tourism Secretary of State).

Pedro de Mello Breyner