Like us, you have probably been keeping a close eye on what has been going on at this year’s International Golf Travel Market. Our very own CEO, Julio Delgado was in Turkey enjoying the event and took a moment (60 seconds to be exact…) to share his views with the IGTM team on what issues and topics are shaping the golf travel industry today.
The Stadium Course has once again been recognised as one of the world’s Top 100 Golf Courses.
Strategically, how important is this and how have you achieved this?
Course rankings have been an essential part of our strategy, and an important element of our marketing campaigns. These have, without doubt, helped increase our brand and media awareness, position us among the world’s prestigious destinations and added value to visitor experience.
Of course, you need a great golf course design to start with, which Ryder Cup star Neil Coles MBE and Spanish golf legend Angel Gallardo, together with European Golf Design, have given us. However, maintaining that status is challenging. Over the past 18 months, we have carried out an extensive course upgrade programme, starting with the replacement of bentgrass on our Stadium Course fairways to a bermuda bed overseeded with ryegrass – the same formula used by Augusta National for The Masters Tournament. We also invested in our member, practice and clubhouse facilities to continue to provide every visitor with an unforgettable and compelling experience. We are a member of the European Tour Properties network and our brand promise is ‘world-class golf’.
Does hosting a tournament benefit a golf travel destination?
Yes it does. The TV and media coverage raises awareness of the brand and creates the right perception in terms of quality. PGA Catalunya Resort was originally built by the European Tour to host the 1997 Ryder Cup, although that didn’t come to pass due to delays in course construction, we have however, twice hosted the Spanish Open and have been the venue for European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage on four consecutive occasions.
Our customer base was previously 50-50 Spanish and international. Now, 70% of our visitors are international. Clearly, being an international tournament venue is one of the reasons for this.
To hear more from Julio and read some of IGTM’s other ’60 Second Interviews’ with the likes of Rob Potter (Executive Producer, Planet Golf) and Chris White (General Manager of Aldar Golf, developers of Yas Links), click here.
It is worth checking out the IGTM Flickr feed, which includes some great imagery captured over the four day golfing event. Not forgetting their yearly golf industry trends round up, which proves to be a very interesting read.
We’re already looking forward to next year’s IGTM, what about you?