Golf and the Algarve are inextricably linked and the future of tourism in the region is rooted in perfecting the golfing services already being offered to ensure economic recovery.
Stuart Woodman and Andrew Coutts from the ILM Group, a firm which specialises in the sustainable development of the Portuguese hotel and tourism sector, have identified a number of factors which have contributed to the enviable reputation of the Algarve as a golfing destination.
In a report on the golfing industry, they say that the weather, quality and diversity of the courses, the service and friendliness of the people, the support of accommodation and beaches, ease of air and road access and value for money and investment opportunities in real estate, have all been instrumental in creating conditions for the Algarve to thrive as a golfing destination.
And it is these factors that will, in their opinion, be the saving grace of the Algarve.
However, they believe that members of the industry need to work together to be able to promote what is already established while maintaining the existing level of services and amenities expected by golfers visiting the region.
The report states that the golfing industry should be highlighting the favourable winter weather of the region and illustrating people sunbathing on the beach in January and playing golf in shorts and polo shirts to encourage visitors.
Other areas that could be targeted for improvement include improving access roads to courses to remove the “building site image” while staff at courses should be encouraged to “go the extra mile” and work as “ambassadors for the Algarve golf product”.
Meanwhile, the report suggests that a marketing plan, targeted to the public especially in central and northern Europe, should be coordinated with the golf courses, accommodation suppliers and airlines to help generate renewed interest in the Algarve as a top golfing destination.
A full version of the report is available in the latest edition of the Algarve Golf & Property Magazine, out now.