World’s premier golf travel event

INTERNATIONAL GOLF Travel Market (IGTM), the world’s premier annual event focusing on golf tourism, will be held at the Estoril Convention Centre from December 6 to 9. A record number of 800 delegates from 47 countries will be participating in the event, which is now in its seventh year.

Organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions, IGTM will bring together potential buyers, such as specialist tour operators, incentive travel agents, meeting and conference organisers and all those offering golf-related products and services, including leading hotels, resorts, golf courses and airlines.

IGTM will not be open to the general public. It focuses on one-to-one personal appointments of 15 minutes each, arranged prior to the event. The countries with the biggest number of exhibitors at IGTM, some 70 each, will be Portugal and Spain. Portuguese exhibitors include Quinta da Marinha, Pestana Hotels & Resorts, Praia D’el Rey Golf and Country Club and Sheraton Algarve at Pine Cliffs Resort. Other countries represented include the UK, Belgium, France, Greece, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and the US. It won’t be all work and no play though for delegates in Estoril, as a golf tournament and clinic, a show/buffet dinner and a Gala Dinner at Estoril Casino will be part of the programme for the event.

First organised in the US in 1998, it is the second time IGTM will be held in Portugal. The first time was in 1999, in Vilamoura, when 400 delegates attended the event. This year’s IGTM is expected to put Portugal firmly on the map as a golf travel destination. “With its natural environment and mild climate, Estoril is the perfect location to play golf all year round,” IGTM exhibition manager, Mark Walsh, said in a statement. “Boasting seven golf courses all within a 15-mile radius, these architecturally designed courses meet the requirements of every level of difficulty up to the highest international standard.”

The world’s 50 million golfers spend an estimated 15 billion euros on travel each year. The figure is increasing annually by 12 per cent. Thanks to IGTM, Estoril coast hotels will see their overnight stays go up by 4,200 next month. The total income generated by the event is estimated at 800,000 euros, while the initial investment involved is 560,000 euros. Hans van der Put