Destination Golf - September 2016 * - Page 24

Peter Walton, NAC (North America Golf Tourism Convention) 2016 Opening Address, Pinehurst Resort © Peter Ellegard development strategies for some 33 countries and regions, helping position destinations to deliver the best possible experience to visiting golf travellers • We take over 300 golf tour operators to more than 30 golf destinations each year on familiarisation trips each year DG: Has the golf travel industry changed much since IAGTO’s formation? And have people’s golf vacation habits changed? PW: We define a golf holiday as being a vacation where golf is the primary purpose of travel, so in many ways the basics have remained the 24 Destination Golf .TRAVEL same in that avid golfers are just looking for a great golfing experienc a price they can afford. Where they go, how long they go for and who they travel with of course changes with age and changing circumstances of each individu golfer. However, in a recent survey, 56% of IAGTO member golf resor golf courses and hotels reported a significant increase in women golf travellers over the past three years, and with this we have seen a grow in couples and groups of couples travelling to play golf. How people book holidays has, of course, been the biggest change o the past 20 years. Golf tour operators have immersed themselves in