Algarve, Portugal – 15th November, 2012
Gran Canaria has been named Europe’s top golf destination in the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards.
The sun-blessed island was announced as Golf Destination of the Year – Europe for 2013 at the gala awards dinner held in Vilamoura on Portugal’s Algarve on the final day of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) to honour the best in the golf industry.
Organised by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), the global golf tourism industry organisation, the IAGTO Awards honour the best in the world of golf and were established in 2000. At that time, Gran Canaria started working to realise its potential of becoming an international golf destination. The fact that it has succeeded in doing that is thanks to the strong commitment of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria – the island government – to the golf industry, which has allowed the construction of five new golf courses: El Cortijo Golf & Country Club, Salobre Golf & resort (north and south), Lopesan Meloneras Golf and Anfi Tauro Golf.
Gran Canaria already had a good foundation for its success as the Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas is the oldest golf club in Spain and one of the oldest in continental Europe, founded by the British in 1891, while Maspalomas Golf was the first pay and play golf course in Spain. The commitment the entrepreneurs made since those early days has created what today is a destination known worldwide for its accommodation, the hospitality of its people, its gastronomy, its climate and its landscape, together with the golf product itself.
Gran Canaria Golf President Agustin Manrique said: “The public–private partnership of government and the golf industry has been one of the keys that has pushed Gran Canaria to become the best golf destination in Europe. It has been more than 10 years of fluent collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“Work done with passion gets successful results, so the President of the Island, the managers and employees of all the golf courses in Gran Canaria and the hotels staff which are inseparable part of our project, together with the Gran Canaria Golf Association, want to thank IAGTO and its tour operators for the great honour of recognising Gran Canaria as the Golf Destination of the Year for Europe 2013!”
Gran Canaria hosted the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in 2005, welcoming some 750 Golf tour operators, hotels, courses, clubs, airlines and tourist boards, from more than 63 countries worldwide. Gran Canaria also held the Spanish PGA (Spanish Golf Professionals Championship) for three consecutive years, from 2006 to 2008. And in July, 2012, Gran Canaria hosted the IAGTO Mid Year Convention.
Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry with more than 2,000 member companies in 90 countries including nearly 500 golf tour operators in 58 countries. There are five Golf Destination of the Year winners in the IAGTO Awards – one in each regional category: North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, Africa & Gulf States, Asia & Australia. Tour operator members from around the world cast their vote for the award based on what they consider to be the best performing golf destinations enjoyed by their golf travelling clients.