Destination Golf - September 2016 * - Page 15

Travel News They met with golf resorts, golf courses, hotels, and regional and state tourist offices as well as other golf-related supplier companies and organisations from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean during two days of business sessions at the resort’s venerable Carolina Hotel. Delegates then took part in the annual NAC golf tournament on two of Pinehurst’s nine golf courses: the legendary Donald Ross-designed No 2, restored by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore for its third US Open in 2014 and which will hold it again in 2024; and the Tom Fazio-designed No 8.NAC attendees were also treated to an indoor and outdoor Taste of North Carolina evening at the resort’s Pinehurst Country Club with food, wine, craft beers and spirits served up by artisans from across the state. International golf tourism to Spain’s Costa Brava region is on course to continue soaring following the second annual IAGTO Golf Trophy event in Spain, with more golfers heading there from an increasingly-diverse spread of countries. Girona was the host destination for this year’s IAGTO Costa Brava Trophy, which drew 80 golf tour operators from 23 countries and was staged in a partnership between global golf tourism organisation IAGTO, the Catalan Tourist Board, the Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board and the Golf Association Costa Brava. Inspection visits to region’s golf courses and meetings with golf tourism suppliers took place throughout the week, with the ‘Trophy’ taking place on the Stadium Course of the 2015 IAGTO Award-winning PGA Catalunya Resort.  In a year in which it celebrates 50 years of golf, Spain’s awardwinning Costa Brava region today reports golf visitors to the area have increased to more than 103,000 over the past two years. In figures collated by the Costa Brava Tourism Board, they show a 67% growth in European golfers to the region between 2013 and 2015, driven by visitors from France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, with 2015 statistics revealing these nationalities made up almost half of the golf visitors to this north-eastern area of Spain. The data also showed a healthy domestic market, with golf visitors from Spain and the wider Catalonia area, comprising a combined 43% of visitors to Costa Brava in 2015. Women who love to golf will love the Dominican Republic. Whether traveling with partner, family or friends, the Capital of Golf in the Caribbean is the perfect destination for women, with an estimated 15 to 20 percent of all visitor rounds played by women. All golf courses are well set up for women golfers, with a range of forward tee positions carefully selected to provide a challenging and enjoyable experience for women of all handicap levels. Several golf courses also organize ladies-only golf competitions on a regular basis throughout the season. This week the city is welcoming the largestever delegation of golf tourism professionals for the annual Asia convention, which is organised by global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) and which has become a key networking event for golf travel in the region. A record 643 delegates from 37 countries, including well over 200 tour operator buyers from 156 companies and 265 seller delegates from 155 golf resorts, golf clubs, hotels, inbound operators and tourist boards throughout the AsiaPacific region, are participating in the event at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. The first-ever simultaneous staging of European Tour and Ladies’ European Tour events at the same venue, in Morocco, underlines the country’s commitment to welcoming women golfers. This weekend saw Rabat’s venerable Royal Golf Dar Es Salam host exciting finishes to both the Hassan II Trophy men’s event, won by Korean youngster Jeunghun Wang from Spain’s Nacho Elvira after a second-hole play-off, and the Lalla Meyrem Cup, in which Spanish rookie Nuria Iturrios triumphed by six shots from overnight leader, England’s Florentyna Parker, after a closing seven-under-par 65. In a year when golf returns to the Olympic Games with ladies’ and men’s events being staged in Rio de Janeiro, Morocco has shown the way by staging the two Tour events at the same time and at the same golf club. Volume 3 • Issue 35 15