Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort in the south of France and the popular destination of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates have both collected prestigious awards from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ (IAGTO) at the International Golf Travel Market in Portugal.
Terre Blanche, one of The European Tour’s thriving network of Tour Destinations, has been voted IAGTO European Golf Resort of the Year with Dubai receiving the accolade of Golf Destination Of The Year – Africa, Indian Ocean & Gulf States.
The awards, in which over 450 specialised operators from 59 different countries vote for the golf destinations and resorts viewed by their clients as the very best , were held this year on the final day of the golf tourism industry’s annual global trade show at the magnificent Puro Beach, Tivoli Marina in Vilamoura in the Portuguese Algarve.
Each operator was asked to nominate what they considered to be the best performing golf resorts this year based on certain specified criteria such as customer satisfaction, quality of golf courses and accommodation, value for money, availability of tee times, speed of communication and quality of service of the golf resort sales, marketing, reservation, administration and management staff.
Jean-Marie Casella, Director of Golf at Terre Blanche commented, “We are immensely proud to have won this award and consider that it validates our determination to offer world class service and amenities to our members, hotel guests, visitors and residents. Having recently become both a European Tour Destination and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, we are truly delighted with this latest accolade.”
Dubai, host destination for this month’s DP World Tour Championship on The European Tour, came out on top in the face of stiff competition from Abu Dhabi, Mauritius and South Africa, including the Garden Route and Western Cape, to earn their well deserved accolade.
Over the past quarter of a century golf as expanded dramatically in Dubai, to the extent where there are currently 11 golf courses and nine golf clubs in the Emirate which was responsible for hosting the first European Tour event in 1989. To date, three courses – the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates - have all staged Tour events, with the latter hosting next week’s DP World Tour Championship, the finale to The 2012 Race to Dubai.
Hamad Bin Mejren, Executive Director - Business Tourism at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM),said: “The DTCM is proud to receive the award for Dubai, which has clinched the best golf destination award for the third time in a decade. This highlights the genuinely successful golf industry in Dubai. In a very short period of time the city, technically a novice in golfing terms, is on a par with cities with a much older reputation as golfing destinations.
“There are several more projects in the pipeline to maintain, and further improve the playing facilities in the region, with the vision of providing an even richer, more fulfilling, and truly luxurious international golfing experience. Acknowledgement must be given to the international professional golf tournaments that are hosted by Dubai, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club as well as The European Tour’s Race to Dubai season ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai held at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“These tournaments showcase the golf courses and Dubai on the global stage through television and media and gives further evidence of the golf industry of Dubai working together for a common goal.”
IAGTO is the global trade organisation for the golf tourism industry, comprising more than 2000 companies in 88 countries, including over 450 specialist golf tour operators in 59 countries. European Tour Properties exhibits annually at the International Golf Travel Market, promoting its network of eleven world class venues.
There was also a special lifetime achievement award for Tony Jacklin, the most successful European Ryder Cup Captain in history. Jacklin was guest of honour at the gala dinner at the Tivoli Marina Hotel which brought the curtain down on the most successful International Golf Travel Market to date, with almost 13,000 delegates from 47 countries in attendance.
IAGTO’s Chief Executive, Peter Walton, said: "The annual golf holiday is the highlight of the golfing year for many of the world’s 50 million players, and the IAGTO Awards serve to reward a few exceptional contributions to this world of golf travel. There is certainly no shortage of candidates worthy of recognition. Many individuals, companies, organisations and destinations have excelled in delivering a great golfing experience to the golf traveller – the ultimate goal for all involved in golf tourism. We congratulate both Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort and Dubai.”