Golf Business News - Asia Golf Tourism Convention proves big hit in Abu Dhabi

Golf Business News – Asia Golf Tourism Convention proves big hit in Abu Dhabi

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The 10th edition of the annual Asia Golf Tourism Convention has taken place in Abu Dhabi, attracting 340 delegates from 52 countries and making it the most international Asian convention since the event’s inauguration in 2012.

Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), said: “Taking AGTC to Abu Dhabi this year enabled us to bring the broadest representation of golf tour operators selling Asia, Australasia and the Gulf States to the convention in its 10-year history. The attending golf tour operators were almost equally split between Asia and Australasia (51%) and Europe and North America (49%), enabling the participating golf destinations and golf tourism suppliers to reach many new markets and potential clients.

“In addition to a record turn-out from golf resorts, golf courses and hotels in the United Arab Emirates and neighbouring Gulf States – including Oman, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – tour operators met with leading golf tourism suppliers from across Southeast Asia, China, Japan, India, Mauritius, Australia and guest destinations from Europe and North Africa.

Farewell Dinner and IAGTO Awards at the Warner Bros World theme park, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

“IAGTO golf tour operators are responsible for more than 90% of golf vacation packages sold worldwide, and by showcasing Abu Dhabi to 146 golf tour operator delegates from 34 countries, this event, along with the pre- and post-educational tours, will generate sustainable high-revenue business from both new and established markets for Abu Dhabi and the region for many years to come.”

The event, which was held from 20-22 March at the Hilton Convention Centre on Yas Island, was also an opportunity for IAGTO to showcase Abu Dhabi as a golf destination during the month of Ramadan, which was very well received. Delegates experienced desert safaris and the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum alongside fantastic gastronomy on Yas Island’s waterfront. The convention ended with a spectacular sound and light show at Warner Bros World, which was a fitting finalé for what was considered by delegates to be one of the best, most memorable and most productive AGTC events in its 10-year history.

Peter Walton added: “We are particularly grateful for the vision and support of Abu Dhabi Tourism for hosting the convention, which is the most important golf tourism event for the golf tourism industry in the Asia Pacific and Gulf States region.”

Golf tour operators playing at Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Supplier and tour operator delegates were full of praise for AGTC 2024. Gary McIntyre, Head of Golf of UK golf tour operator GolfKings, said: “It was the first time GolfKings has attended AGTC and I can safely say that it was one of the most insightful shows I have personally attended in many years. The diversity of the product and the enthusiasm of the suppliers was terrific.

“GolfKings only started featuring Thailand this year and it is already going from strength to strength. Up next is more of Thailand alongside Vietnam and Cambodia as we look to build on the touring aspect of our portfolio.”

Lavenia Revilla, President of Grand Country Tours & Travel in the Philippines, said: “The recent IAGTO convention in Abu Dhabi was such a great experience, and it truly opened up opportunities for us to present the Philippines as a combination of great golf destinations. Most of the tour operators, particularly from European markets, were not aware of what the Philippines can offer to travelling golfers.”

Viya Golf operates three golf courses in Abu Dhabi, including AGTC 2024 tournament venues Yas Links and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Commenting on AGTC, CEO Chris May said: “We are delighted to have hosted so many delegates from a record number of countries in Abu Dhabi for AGTC, with many of them visiting the capital city for the first time.

“The feedback from everyone attending has been very positive from the variety and conditioning of the golf courses that many experienced, to the hospitality and warm welcome of the amazing hotels. AGTC coming to Abu Dhabi has been hugely successful and will leave all delegates with many memorable experiences. I am sure this will have a significant impact on growing golf tourism in Abu Dhabi and the Middle East region.”

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