International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) has been and gone for another year; the showpiece event for the golf travel industry was held in Palma, Mallorca, last week and was attended by over 600 suppliers from all over the world offering their products to buyers from countries as far apart as Australia and Russia. It’s a must attend event for those in the golf travel trade as it gives them the opportunity to meet new and existing suppliers and keep updated with their latest news and offers.
With countries increasingly seeing golf as a major source of tourism and revenue they are actively promoting golf in hitherto non-golfing destinations. It’s impossible to visit everywhere for an inspection visit so an exhibition like this is invaluable to gather the necessary information to put together cost effective packages for our clients. For example, there were 4 different suppliers from Bulgaria which a few years ago no one would ever consider a golfing destination but having visited it last year it has tremendous potential. Other countries with a strong presence at the event included Kenya which although may seem surprising is a country looking to grow its golf tourism numbers and offered interesting golfing and safari holidays.
The traditional overseas golfing destinations of Spain, Portugal and France had the largest number of exhibitors and all those countries have had excellent years in terms of numbers of visiting golfers due to the decline in the number of people travelling to Turkey. Many have taken advantage of this to use the extra revenue to improve the facilities and services they offer. Calanova Golf in the Costa Del Sol is an example. At this popular venue, they have improved the quality of the golf course and built a brand-new clubhouse in a modern style. El Paraiso Golf which is also in the Costa Del Sol have extended their Clubhouse and improved their driving range and similar schemes are happening at golf courses in Portugal and France.
The event is also invaluable for looking at destinations that we don’t already offer. Excellent contacts were made with companies in America, South Africa, Austria and Italy all of which may lead us to putting together new and exciting golf breaks and golfing holidays in the near future.
Palma was a great city to hold the event in, and despite the rain impacting on the day we played golf the event was a major success. Hopefully we will have recovered from an exhausting week in time for next year’s event which will be held in Cannes in December 2017…