Portugal’s southern-most region continues to rake in the awards. This past weekend, the Algarve was voted Europe’s Best Golf Destination for 2014, beating off challenges from several illustrious destinations across the continent.
The awards, staged in Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain are voted for by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), whose specialist golf tour operator members now number 516 from 62 different countries.
They considered criteria such as customer satisfaction; quality of golf courses and accommodation; value for money; support from suppliers, tourist boards & airlines; professional conduct of suppliers; and accessibility to tee times, when casting their votes.
The IAGTO awards are the highest accolade for golfing destinations. The Algarve beat off the challenges of other nominees which included Dublin and Central Ireland, Gran Canary, the Scottish Highlands, the French Riviera, and Lisbon’s own Golf Coast.
Desidério Silva, President of the Algarve Tourism Board stressed after the awards that golf tourism is of the utmost importance to the Algarve, with nearly one million rounds played per year. “With a choice of 40 golf courses, the Algarve is the perfect place for players to indulge their passion. Year after year, the organisational capabilities and the professionalism from the local golf industry have enabled us to respond to the trust placed in us by the international golf tour operators, who have greatly honoured us by selecting the Algarve as Europe’s number one golf destination”, explained Desidério Silva.
IAGTO’s Chief Executive, Peter Walton, added: “The annual golf holiday is the highlight of the golfing year for many of the world’s 55 million players, and the IAGTO Awards serve to reward a few exceptional contributions to this world of golf travel. The Awards serve also to encourage private and public sector organisations to work closely together in the development and promotion of new and existing golf destinations, making them accessible to and enjoyable by the widest range of golfers. Each year we recognise the performance of three of the world’s leading Golf Resorts, the flagships of our industry, together with one outstanding golf destination.”
Portugal is also nominated in the category of Best European Golf Destination at this year’s World Travel Awards. The winners are to be announced at the end of the month.