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International Golf Travel Market 2019 Review

  • November 13, 2019 // The Consummate Pro

International Golf Travel Market 2019 – Marrakech, Morocco

We attended a very productive edition of IAGTO International Golf Travel Market in Marrakech in October. IGTM is one of the largest B2B events in the golf calendar and allows us to meet with new supplier properties and destinations to find out what is new with them, get updates on rates and facilities and to educate the team on what golf destinations we should be considering for our clients in the future. Ostensibly we focused on Italy, France, Spain & Portugal, South Africa and New Zealand.

Some of the highlights of the week included the following amazing properties and experiences. We were particularly taken with terms di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort ( www.termedisaturnia.it ). A stunning Virtuoso property located in central Italy approx 150km from Pisa. 

In France, we were extremely impressed with Chateau des Vigiers, known as the “Petit Versailles” (pictured) . The property is 16th century with 25 individually appointed bedrooms, a Michelin star restaurant “Les Fresque” and a brasserie, Golf course, spa, swimming pools and stunning grounds.

We caught up with many of our partners in Portugal such as Vale do Lobo ( valedolobo.com ), Amendoeira Resort (www.amendoeiraresort.com ), Oitavos Dunes Golf Club ( www.oitavosdunes.com ), Antonio and Debora at Palmares ( www.palmaresliving.com ) and Frederico and José from the wonderful Espiche ( www.espichegolf.pt ).

Over in Spain there is a lot of development work in the planning especially at the La Reserva Club  in Sotogrande where major redevelopment work will see the property close for the best part of a year for upgrades to take place and significant new developments to be built; the finished product will be even more spectacular than the existing property. We also spoke with Finca Cortesin which goes from strength to strength and is one of the best properties to stay in our opinion on the south coast. 

South Africa is becoming a popular ask for clients. The mix of culture, wine, golf and safari makes the country a fascinating destination for an experiential golf trip. One of the most fascinating conversations we had was with Mark Rutherford from the Gondwana Game Reserve on the Garden Route. They have incorporated a conservation element into their programmes where guests get to experience and have hands-on experience of what it takes to maintain such a facility for future generations. In additional we had an illuminating conversation with Edward Mitchell from Rovos Rail Luxury Trains. It was fascinating to learn how guests can combine a fabulous golf experience with a unique and luxurious mode of transport such that Rovos provide. We will be providing more details on this and the other South African experiences in the coming months on our website.

It was a pleasure to meet with Ben from Tourism Partners in New Zealand and the Director of Golf of both Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, Jonathan McCord. New Zealand continues to be a very regular request of our clients and we were delighted to get updates from the gents on what’s new at both destinations on the North Island and also at Matakauri on the South Island. We’re looking forward to visiting New Zealand in the not too distant future.

In addition to these destinations we had excellent discussions with Discover South Carolina, Visit Los Cabos, Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria, and Florida’s Golf Coast.

On a final note, many congratulations to David Bright and the team at Celtic Manor who will host IGTM in 2020.