Manila, Philippines: More than 200 golf tour operators from around the world will participate in the largest series of golf familiarisation tours ever undertaken in Asia when the Philippines hosts the region’s annual gathering of golf tourism professionals, the Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC).
AGTC 2018 will take place in Manila from April 22-25 and has already attracted a record number of buyers, with 75% emanating from the country’s principal Asia Pacific markets.
The Asia Convention is organised by global golf tourism industry body IAGTO. Peter Walton, IAGTO’s Chief Executive, said: “One of our objectives with AGTC each year is to ensure that the destination benefits directly from the event in a really significant way.
“As an emerging golf destination, only 21% of our 424 golf tour operators selling golf vacations to Asia feature the Philippines, so we were determined to get as many tour operators to really experience golf in the Philippines first-hand either before or after the Convention.
“As a result of these efforts, sponsored by the country’s Tourism Promotions Board, 215 golf tour operator delegates from 35 countries have already committed to the AGTC Fam Tours making this the largest golf fam trip to have ever taken place in Asia.”
Tour operators will visit the three main golf destinations: Tagaytay Highlands, Clark-Angeles City and Boracay Island.
They will also experience golf in metro Manila itself at the Southwoods and Wack Wack golf clubs during the AGTC Golf Tournament, which will follow two days of meetings between seller companies and organisations across Asia – including destination tourist boards, golf resorts, golf clubs, hotels, transportation companies and other golf tourism service providers – and the golf tour operator buyers.
The Philippines golf tourism industry is co-ordinated by the Association of International Golf Tour Operators Philippines (AIGTP). Its President, Connie Mamaril, said: “The Philippines has 100 golf courses throughout the archipelago of 7,100 islands with varying designs overlooking the ocean, rivers, volcanoes and mountains with standards enticing to the international market and competitive green fees. The added charm of English-speaking caddies makes the entire golfing experience unforgettable.”
Recognising the impact that AGTC will have on its golf tourism industry, Philippines Tourism Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer Cesar Montano said: “The Department of Tourism (DOT) through the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is looking forward to a successful tourism convention.
“Hosting the AGTC 2018 is an impetus for Philippine golf tourism and our other sports industries. We warmly welcome partnering with institutions and agencies to bring forward the Philippines as the preferred sports destination in Southeast Asia.”