October 8th, 2015, at the 16th annual IAGTO Awards Ceremony that took place at Tenerife’s Siam Park attended by 1400 delegates from 65 countries, Vietnam has been confirmed as the 2016 Golf Destination of the Year for Asia & Australasia voted by 600 golf tour operators of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). This is the second time Vietnam has won this title at the IAGTO Awards since 2013. And in 2007, the gala Awards evening took place in Mexico on the last day of the International Golf Travel Market named Viet Nam as the “Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year”
The announcement headlined the global golf tourism organisation’s annual 2016 Awards Gala Dinner Tenerife The Golf Destination of the Year Award was announced as part of the influential IAGTO Awards, held on the final day of International Golf Travel Market 2016, the golf travel industry’s annual trade show. It is the benchmark accolades for the golf tourism industry and the five Golf Destination of the Year winners – for North America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa & the Gulf States, in addition to Asia & Australasia – are voted for by IAGTO’s golf tour operator members from over 60 countries. Criteria are used to determine winners:
– Customer satisfaction
– Quality of golf courses & accommodation
– Value for money
– Professional conduct of suppliers
– Support from the local tourism industry
– Accessibility to tee times
Vietnam, a rising star of the East, fascinates with its enchanting history, rich and varied culture and breathtaking landscapes, meanwhile Viet Nam’s mild climate, varied topography, long coastline, and affordable prices, set the perfect stage for an enjoyable golfing holiday.
In 1993, Kings’ Island Golf Resort, Viet Nam’s first golf course opened, and thus began Viet Nam’s golf boom. At present, the country boasts more than 30 international-standard golf courses designed by renowned world golfers including Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Trevino, and that number is growing daily, 19 other golf course projects are under study and construction and if it is all approved, Vietnam will have 114 golf courses under the national plan.
Vietnam’s golf courses appeal to all levels of golfer, from beginners up to professional players and they include the 2 world-class Vinpearl Golf courses: Nha Trang and Phu Quoc – the 2 first island golf courses designed by IMG Worldwide or the Asia’s new golf tourism hotspot – Central Coast includes 3 international-standards golf courses: Laguna Lang Co, Montgomerie Links and Da Nang Golf Club designed by world- renowned golfers. More domestic and international golf events have been organised each year in the region, helping to give Vietnam attention in the golf world as well as Big-names events such as Accor Vietnam World Masters Golf Championship or Ho Tram Open 2015.
Speaking about the Golf Destination of the Year Award, Vinpearl Golf’s Director of Sales & Marketing – Niklas Robinson commented: “The IAGTO award will give the destination a good motivation to further improve the service levels of Vietnam’s golf product and expand the number of FAM trips for the IAGTO tour operators so they will have the opportunity to get to know the destination and increase the number of golfers they send there.” The award will definitely help to promote Vietnam for golf and encourage golfers from all around the world to come and play there.
The world’s premier global event for golf tourism suppliers, buyers and media, was again brought to a close by the 16th annual IAGTO Awards ceremony, which saw some of the golf industry’s best-performing destinations celebrated.
As the global trade association of the golf tourism industry, IAGTO has taken great care and immense pride over the past 15 years to ensure that the annual Awards represent the pinnacle of achievement for golf destinations and golf resorts, reflecting accurately the opinions of golf tour operators, golf travel writers and, ultimately, the golf traveller. Only a handful of golf courses, golf resorts and golf destinations receive an IAGTO Award each year, which makes this such a special event and a great achievement for each of the recipients.
The launch last year of IAGTO four Sustainability categories demonstrated how awards can act as a catalyst for best practice as well as showcasing existing excellence.
The IAGTO Awards are respected throughout the industry not only because they have been going 16 years, but because they reflect the experiences of the 1.8 million people who IAGTO operators carry on golf holidays each year.
2016 AWARD WINNERS
Africa & Gulf States: MAURITIUS
Asia & Australasia: VIETNAM
Europe: LISBOA GOLF COAST
Latin America & The Caribbean: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
North America: HILTON HEAD ISLAND
Europe: ROYAL ÓBIDOS SPA & GOLF RESORT
North America: ARNOLD PALMER’S BAY HILL CLUB & LODGE
Rest of World: BANYAN THE RESORT HUA HIN
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Americas:
PGA NATIONAL RESORT & SPA, FLORIDA, USA
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Europe:
LA GALIANA GOLF COURSE, SPAIN
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Asia:
MISSION HILLS HAIKOU, CHINA