IAGTO Costa Blanca Trophy 2017

Golf Voyager was well represented at the IAGTO Costa Blanca Trophy recently, a week-long trade event to sample all the goodness that the region has to offer. Fintan Ward was part of a delegation of 70 golf industry professionals from 18 countries that traveled to the Costa Blanca province to see first-hand their tourism offerings.

 

With the celebration of the official dinner in the Catillo de Santa Bárbara on Wednesday, May 24, the central event of the “IAGTO Trophy”, one of the most important trade weeks of the year was concluded in Alicante.

Approximately half of the 70 tour operators from 18 countries who traveled to Alicante for the event on the Costa Blanca participated in one of the Parallel FAM Trips organized for the occasion, where they visited numerous Golf courses and hotels in the province.

 

The official dinner was the culmination of the event, during which there was a parade of Moors and Christians, a fireworks display at the castle launched from Cocó beach and a musical performance. At the end of the dinner, the representatives of the three organizers of the congress; Agència Valenciana del Turisme (AVT), Association of Golf Courses of the Costa Blanca (ACGCB) and IAGTO, delivered the closing speeches.

Peter Walton, president of IAGTO, called the event “a resounding success, as the objective of showing attendees the magnificent golf course of the Costa Blanca and Valencian Community, as well as the enormous advantages of the destination such as climate, gastronomy, air connections and the complementary tourist and leisure offer ‘. Walton also noted the “great success that has meant having hosted the operators in the city of Alicante, since many were unaware of its huge tourist attraction and leisure only 15-20 minutes from four golf courses.

Raquel Huete, General Director of the Valencian Tourism Agency, thanked IAGTO for choosing the Costa Blanca and the Comunitat Valenciana on hosting this important event and the Association of Golf Courses on the Costa Blanca for the great organization. He emphasized that “this congress has been a great opportunity to show the best of our destiny, culture and traditions”. Finally, he asked all the tour operators present that “from now on we would be our ambassadors all over Europe”.

Salva Lucas with Fintan Ward at La Finca Resort

Salvador Lucas, president of the ACGCB, emphasized “the enormous return that this event is expected to generate in the coming years, not only for the golf sector, but for many other sectors of the tourism industry such as hotels, restaurants, rent a Car, airport or shops’. Finally, he thanked “the AVT for their full support and IAGTO for their commitment to our destination. He also thanked the other institutions that have collaborated with the Provincial Tourist Board of the Costa Blanca, Alicante City Council, the Valencian Community Golf Federation and Visit Benidorm.

The IAGTO Costa Blanca Trophy began with a press conference on Monday 22 at the Blue Hall of Alicante City Hall, where in the presence of Gabriel Echávarri, mayor of the city; Francesc Colomer, president of the AVT and Salvador Lucas, president of the ACGCB, signed the agreement between the AVT and the ACGCB. In the afternoon the welcome cocktail was held in the Cloister of the Concatedral de San Nicolás. On Tuesday 23rd, the Golf Tournament took place at the Meliá Villaitana and in the evening the awards dinner at the Torre de Reixes restaurant. Wednesday 24 was the day of work in the Cruise Terminal of the Port of Alicante and at night the mentioned Official Dinner in the Castle of Santa Barbara.

This event has been an example of coordination and full support of all the institutions involved, having been recognized at all levels as a historic opportunity to position the Costa Blanca and the Valencian Community as the main destination among golf tourists in European markets.

The IAGTO Trophy will be a landmark for golf in the region that will impact not only on golf courses, but throughout the tourism sector.

Golf Voyager Scoops ITB China Award in Shanghai

Golf Voyager Scoops ITB China Award

11 May 2017

Judging panel describe GolfVoyager.com as a truly innovative travel technology platform.

In the same week as Irish-based Golf Voyager, the booking engine that allows golfers to custom-build their own golf package in minutes, announced a partnership with three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington, it was awarded with the ITB China Award in Shanghai for innovation in travel technology.

Six pre-selected innovators from companies who launched their products in the past five years were required to demonstrate their innovative solutions before a jury containing experienced industry professionals. The innovators were asked to explain, during an 8-minute pitch, how their product will impact the future of the travel industry.

The jury described Golf Voyager as a ‘truly innovative company in the travel technology’ sector, while judge Philip C. Wolf, the pioneer of Travel 2.0, founder and retired chairman of PhoCusWright, an independent travel, tourism and hospitality research firm and the research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect, described managing director Conor Galvin’s algorithm capability, as simply ‘way ahead’.

Commenting on this latest success, Conor Galvin said: “We are delighted to have our technology recognised at this level. ITB China is the marketplace for China’s travel industry and will give us enormous exposure in the Asian market.

“It will firmly positon our company and our technology in the minds of the investor community and enable us to pitch for the level of investment we need to move our business to the next stage of our development strategy. We already offer a best price guarantee, with full coverage of golf sector in Spain, including well known courses such as Valderrama, San Roque and PGA Catalunya. We will shortly move into the Portuguese market, mainland Europe, the UK and the Americas.

 

“Setting up a business with a disruptive technology is not for the faint-hearted. We have spent a lot of man hours developing our technology and taking it to the market but now, a double recognition of our technology and our capability in the one week, is the type of boost every entrepreneur wishes for,” added Galvin.

Golf Voyager (www.golfvoyager.com) was established in 2012 with one main vision, to offer golfers the easiest way to book their golf holidays. Unlike any other golf holiday booking tool, Golf Voyager aims to provide the best value golf packages in real-time, ensuring a hassle-free method of booking golf holidays in a matter of minutes.

ENDS

Release issued by Dympna O’Callaghan, MollyD Marketing

 

Golf Voyager Media Enquiries:

Fintan Ward / Dympna O’Callaghan / Jing Farrelly

E: fintan.ward@golfvoyager.com

E: dympna@mollydmarketing.ie

E: jing@golfvoyager.com

Tel: +353 (0)61 293 533

Padraig Harrington Partners with GolfVoyager.com

Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington supports Best Value Golf Packages

LONDON (8th May 2017) – Golf Voyager, the Limerick-based booking engine that allows golfers to custom-build their own golf package in minutes, has announced a partnership with Padraig Harrington. The three-time Major champion will join Golf Voyager as its first brand ambassador.

The Evolution of Golf holiday Booking

Golf Voyager was established in 2012 by entrepreneurs Conor Galvin and Fintan Ward. Their vision is to provide golfers with the tools to book their own custom built golf holidays. Golf Voyager platform enables those booking a golf holiday to design their own package in real time. This allows the customer to save time while also saving money. It is the first online booking tool on the market to offer an entire golf holiday booking capability. This includes tee time booking, hotel and transport, in a matter of minutes. The Irish-based company offer a best price guarantee, with full coverage of Spain, including well known courses such as Valderama and PGA de Catalunya, and shortly also Portugal, mainland Europe, the UK and the Americas.

Major winner backing major innovation

Harrington, winner of two Open Championships (2007 and 2008) and the US PGA Championship (2008), is no stranger to playing golf around the world, having won a total of 30 times across the globe. The Irishman’s last noteworthy victory came at the 2016 Portugal Masters, only a season after capturing the 2015 Honda Classic.

Harrington becomes the company’s first ambassador and therefore will be used to promote the website around the world.

Commenting on the announcement, Conor Galvin, Managing Director at Golf Voyager, said, “First of all we’re extremely excited to be partnering with a legend of the game. Padraig has given us his backing of our online service means a lot to us. We have built a tool that will significantly improve the experience for anyone looking to organise a golf holiday.”

Speaking about Golf Voyager, Padraig Harrington, said, “I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world playing professional golf for over 20 years and I can appreciate how time consuming it can be to arrange everything that goes into organising a golf trip. Golf Voyager offers golfers an easy way to arrange their holiday and I was surprised at how simple a process it was using their website. In just a few clicks you can book your hotel, and then choose the courses you would like to play and get a real-time update on price. Golfvoyager.com takes the stress out of booking golf vacations and it’s amazing how easy it is to use!”

So visit Golf Voyager today and build your next Golf Trip –  http://www.golfvoyager.com

 

For any questions contact:

IMG Media Enquiries:                     

Michele Mair / Tom Benbow
E: michele.mair@img.com             E: tom.benbow@img.com
Tel: +44 (0)2082 335300

Golf Voyager Media Enquiries:

Fintan Ward / Dympna O’Callaghan
E: fintan.ward@golfvoyager.com             E: dympna@mollydmarketing.ie  Tel: +353 (0)61 293 533

 

Golf Voyager Shortlisted for ITB China Award

ITB China proudly presents: The 2017 Startup Awards

The ITB China Startup Award recognizes companies within the travel industry that have turned ideas into viable business solutions. CEO of Golf Voyager, Conor Galvin will travel to Shanghai for the event to showcase the Golf Voyager platfrom to the leaders in the travel technology sector.

 

Golf Voyager are among the six companies shortlisted for the Startup Award 2017. The jury consists of the following four members of experienced industry professionals: Philipp Wolf, Phocuswright (Patronage), Gang Chen, Group Senior Vice President, Ctrip, Jay You, Yuantai Investment Partners Evergreen Fund Partner and Le Yu, Managing Director, Ping An Ventures.

ITB was launched 51 years ago and is recognized as the most successful trade show for the global travel industry. Albeit the inaugural startup award, it is already a prestigious accolade. 10,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries regularly attend this event. Shanghai being one of the worlds largest cities with 23 million people will host this years event.The conference is taking place 10 – 12 May and is co-organised by TravelDaily. This three day business-to-business trade fair focuses on the Chinese travel industry.

Golf Voyager aim to be a worldwide solution in the short-term future.

 

To find out more about the event visit:

http://www.itb-china.com/ 

ITB China Press Release

 

 

 

David Wallace Leads Munster To Algarve Golf Challenge Success

David Wallace’s Munster Team claimed the inaugural Golf Voyager Algarve Golf Challenge after a playoff.

Former rugby rivals, David Wallace and Luke Fitzgerald headed up the Munster and Leinster teams that took to the fairways in the Algarve during the last weekend in January.

After two days of competitive play, it came down to a playoff to decide both the four-ball and overall team event. Ennis natives Paul Coote and Adrian Kearney showed consistency with two rounds of 39 points to jump from 4th place into top spot on the leaderboard at the challenging Vila Sol course in Vilamoura.

Former Leinster and Ireland rugby star Luke Fitzgerald and his partner Eamonn Cormican showed their competitive edge to tie the clubhouse lead on 78 points. With the best Leinster team tied with the best Munster team on 78 points and with the scores tied 16-16 in the overall team event, the tournament organisers Golf Voyager, decided that it would be a case of ‘everything on the line’ as a sudden death playoff would be required much to the delight of the other 60 golfers cheering on their respective provinces and gathered on the balcony overlooking the majestic 18th hole at Pestana’s flagship golf resort.

After a brief negotiation with the course manager, the golf shoes needed to be laced up again as the pairs Fitzgerald & Cormican, Coote & Kearney headed back to the 18th tee box. The onlooking gallery were not disappointed as all 4 players showed no signs of nervousness when all hitting stunning approach shots that were greeted by rapturous applause by the swelling crowd.

Paul Coote, Luke Fitzgerald, Eamonn Cormican & Adrian Kearney get set for the sudden death playoff

Luke Fitzgerald had the first effort for birdie and decided to chip rather than putt from just off the green. His aggressive play nearly played off as the ball checked and threatened the hole briefly before running out 8 feet past. Next up was the powerful Eamonn Cormican whose birdie putt was hit on a perfect line but lacked an ounce of pace and stopped in the jaws. His tap-in for par was matched by Adrian Kearney when his birdie putt also grazed the hole.

It came down to Luke Fitzgerald to hole out for par as Paul Coote, who had produced the best approach to just 5 feet, would have 2 putts for victory should the former British and Ireland Lions star miss. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, his putt was offline and Coote duly putted stone dead to claim a memorable triumph for the dynamic Clare duo who play out of Woodstock Golf club. See video below for highlights.

 

Edward Charnock, Director of Golf at Pestana Vila Sol was on hand to present another rugby legend David Wallace with the Golf Voyager Algarve Golf Challenge Cup on behalf of a jubilant Munster team.

29-1-7 Golf Voyager, Vila Sol, Portugal.
Munster v Leinster golf competition 2017.
Munster overall winners after a dramatic play-off on the 18th hole, Munster Team with captain David Wallace and Golf Course Manager at Vila Sol, Edward Charnock.
Picture: Keith Wiseman

 

The final scores after 2 days in the four-ball event were as follows:

No Name H/C 3/4 H/C Name H/C 3/4 H/C Combined 4ball better ball 3/4 hc score Sat Combined 4ball better ball 3/4 hc score Sun Total
1 Paul Coote 10 8 Adrian Kearney 7 5 39 39 78
2 Luke Fitzgerald 14 11 Eamonn Cormican 12 9 38 40 78
3 Andrew McCormack 0 0 Donal McCormack 18 14 34 41 75
4 Pat Moran 18 14 Padraic Behan 5 4 41 33 74
5 Noel McMahon 14 11 Stephen McNamara 19 14 30 40 70
6 Gerry O’Donoghue 18 14 Kieran Myers 20 15 33 37 70
7 Michael O’Shea 11 8 Anthony Ryan 11 8 40 30 70
8 Paul Daly 13 10 Aidan Lacy 6 5 32 36 68
9 John Hayes 7 5 Brian McLauchlan 18 14 35 33 68
10 Mark Ponsonby 17 13 Christy Blake 19 14 42 26 68
11 Gerard O’Gorman 7 5 Andrew Mawhinney 13 10 34 33 67
12 Luis Navarro 10 8 Fintan Ward 9 7 30 35 65
13 Kevin Hutchinson 16 12 Patrick O’Brien 11 8 31 33 64
14 Eugene Donohoe 11 8 James Lawn 15 11 27 36 63
15 Patrick McElhinney 5 4 Brendan McCarthy 9 7 32 30 62
16 Mark McGrath 21 16 Paul Carmody 19 14 28 32 60
17 Paul O’Halloran 16 12 Patrick Keogh 19 14 28 32 60
18 Tom Scully 19 14 David Cuddihy 11 8 31 29 60
19 Mark Ward 20 15 PJ Brennan 18 14 30 29 59
20 Padraig Donohoe 13 10 Marius McHugh 28 21 30 29 59
21 Conor Galvin 11 8 Gary Cormican 20 15 32 25 57
22 Thomas Ryan 18 14 Mick Daffy 18 14 32 25 57
23 Trudy Doyle 23 17 Sue Cormican 31 23 28 27 55
24 JJ O’Reilly 20 15 Sean Johnson 24 18 25 27 52
25 David Wallace 20 15 Brian McMahon 17 13 27 25 52
26 Darragh McDonagh 19 14 John Higgins 22 17 28 23 51
27 Keith Wiseman 20 15 Tony Pearl 18 14 27 23 50
28 Paul Neale 16 12 Derrick McGovern 19 14 24 25 49
29 Frank Shanahan 18 14 Michael Lambe 22 17 28 20 48
30 Liam McAuliffe 20 15 Patsy Lane 17 13 22 26 48
31 Seán Markham 24 18 Bernard Gaffney 20 15 25 23 48
32 Craig Colgan 24 18 Stephen Ormiston 24 18 21 26 47
29-1-7 Golf Voyager, Villa Sol, Portugal.
Munster v Leinster golf competition 2017.
Munster overall winners after a dramatic play off on the 18th hole, Munster Team with captain David Wallace.
Picture: Keith Wiseman

 

The team event standings after Day 1 and Day 2 were 16-16 as follows:

Day 1 Results
Munster Leinster M/L
Patrick McElhinney Brendan McCarthy Michael O’Shea Anthony Ryan L
Paul Coote Adrian Kearney Tom Scully David Cuddihy M
Noel McMahon Stephen McNamara Mark McGrath Paul Carmody M
Paul O’Halloran Patrick Keogh Craig Colgan Stephen Ormiston M
Darragh McDonagh John Higgins Conor Galvin Gary Cormican L
Frank Shanahan Michael Lambe Padraig Donohoe Marius McHugh L
David Wallace Brian McMahon Luke Fitzgerald Eamonn Cormican L
Keith Wiseman Tony Pearl Eugene Donohoe James Lawn M
Thomas Ryan Mick Daffy Kevin Hutchinson Patrick O’Brien M
Seán Markham Bernard Gaffney Pat Moran Padraic Behan L
Liam McAuliffe Patsy Lane Paul Daly Aidan Lacy L
Gerry O’Donoghue Kieran Myers Paul Neale Derrick McGovern M
John Hayes Brian McLauchlan JJ O’Reilly Sean Johnson M
Mark Ward PJ Brennan Mark Ponsonby Christy Blake L
Andrew McCormack Donal McCormack Gerard O’Gorman Andrew Mawhinney ½
Luis Navarro Fintan Ward Trudy Doyle Sue Cormican M
Munster 8 ½ Leinster 7 ½

 

Day 2 Results
Munster Leinster M/L
Seán Markham Bernard Gaffney Paul Neale Derrick McGovern L
David Wallace Brian McMahon Eugene Donohoe James Lawn L
Darragh McDonagh John Higgins Mark McGrath Paul Carmody L
Luis Navarro Fintan Ward Kevin Hutchinson Patrick O’Brien M
Noel McMahon Stephen McNamara Paul Daly Aidan Lacy M
Andrew McCormack Donal McCormack Gerard O’Gorman Andrew Mawhinney M
Patrick McElhinney Brendan McCarthy Michael O’Shea Anthony Ryan ½
Paul Coote Adrian Kearney Mark Ponsonby Christy Blake M
Liam McAuliffe Patsy Lane Craig Colgan Stephen Ormiston L
Keith Wiseman Tony Pearl Trudy Doyle Sue Cormican L
Frank Shanahan Michael Lambe JJ O’Reilly Sean Johnson L
Paul O’Halloran Patrick Keogh Padraig Donohoe Marius McHugh M
Mark Ward PJ Brennan Tom Scully David Cuddihy ½
Thomas Ryan Mick Daffy Conor Galvin Gary Cormican M
Gerry O’Donoghue Kieran Myers Luke Fitzgerald Eamonn Cormican L
John Hayes Brian McLauchlan Pat Moran Padraic Behan ½
Munster 7 ½ Leinster 8 ½
29-1-7 Golf Voyager, Villa Sol, Portugal.
Munster v Leinster golf competition 2017.
Overall winners Paul Coote & Adrian Kearney receive their prizes including a golf holiday from David Wallace.
Picture: Keith Wiseman

 

Prizes were presented to the top 10 teams by David Wallace at The Punter Bar, Vilamoura. The other winners were:

Long drive on day 1: Andrew McCormack

Nearest to pin on day 1: Sue Cormican

Long drive on day 2: Luke Fitzgerald

Nearest to pin on day 2: Stephen Ormiston

Best Score outside the top 10 on day 1: Gerard O’Gorman & Andrew Mawhinney

Best Score outside the top 10 on day 2: Eugene Donohoe & James Lawn



The team at Golf Voyager would like to thank Luke Fitzgerald & David Wallace for joining us for the weekend as team captains. Also thanks to all who participated and to our event partners and sponsors listed below.

Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Spa Resort

The Punter Bar

Clubstohire.com

Ballyneety GC

Castle Barna GC

Delgany GC

Druids Glen Golf Resort

Dromoland Golf & Country Club

Dunmurry Springs GC

Esker Hills GC

Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club

New Forest GC

Rathsallagh GC

Roganstown GC

Shannon GC

Woodstock GC

Deposits are now been taken for the ‘Algarve Golf Challenge 2018’ which will take place from the 26th to 29th January 2018. Contact 061-293533 to book your place as spaces are selling out fast. Join in on a fun weekend of golf and good cráic.

Calling all Munster & Leinster fans to the Algarve Golf Challenge 2017

Join David Wallace & Luke Fitzgerald for a golfing weekend in Vilamoura

At the launch of the Golf Voyager ‘Algarve Challenge 2017’ were rugby legend, David Wallace & Fintan Ward (COO of Golf Voyager).

There is a ‘friendly’ rivalry and mutual respect between Munster & Leinster players and fans, both on and off the field of play. No matter whether the game is played is Musgrave Park, Thomond Park, The RDS or The Aviva, as soon as the final whistle is blown, the games take on another life of their own and are re-lived over and over in the bars around Cork, Limerick, Dublin and indeed throughout the rugby world. Die-hard supporters will complain about every missed tackle, debate dodgy TMO decisions, argue about forward passes that weren’t spotted but most importantly the banter is always good.

A new chapter of this friendly rivalry will commence at the end of January 2017 on the lush fairways at Vila Sol Golf Resort and will no doubt be discussed at length in the bars afterward around the marina in Vilamoura when The Algarve Golf Challenge takes place from Friday 27th to Monday 30th January 2017. The event is open to all golfers aged 18 and over, with no handicap restrictions so all levels of golfers are invited to participate. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for any sports enthusiasts to tee it up in a fun, yet competitive environment and rub shoulders with two Irish Rubgy Legends.

If you fancy traveling to Vilamoura for 3 nights B&B and 2 rounds of golf at the 5* Vila Sol Resort, contact Limerick based company Golf Voyager on 061-293533 to be part of a great weekend for just €299.

David will captain ‘Team Munster’ with his former Irish & Lions teammate, Luke Fitzgerald leading ‘Team Leinster’.

There are a limited number of places still available and the event is open to all golfers (Aged 18+). A four-ball tournament with over €4000 in prizes will be run concurrently with the team event.

 

 

At the launch of the Golf Voyager ‘Algarve Challenge 2017’ were rugby legend, David Wallace & Fintan Ward (COO of Golf Voyager).

Just in case you haven’t seen Luke Fitzgerald bomb it over ‘300 Yards’, Wally reminded us about his clip. So if you are going to have the mis-hit of a lifetlime, make sure you do it in style and with panache like Luke; Cameras on, in front of Rory McIlroy and your Irish teammates, who will never ever let you live it down …. sorry Luke!!

Full Details of trip below:

The Algarve Golf Challenge takes place from  27th to 30th Jan 2017. We have availability for 100 golfers (max) and as of 16/01/17, we have 36 places remaining.

Format

It is essentially 2 golf tournaments in 1,  as your team of 2 (four-ball ¾ handicap) score will count for both events.

Munster Vrs Leinster ‘Ryder Cup’ Event

David Wallace will captain ‘Team Munster’ with his former Irish & Lions teammate, Luke Fitzgerald leading ‘Team Leinster’ in a Ryder Cup style format with 2 Munster opposite 2 Leinster making up the groupings. At the end of 2 days play either Wally or Luke will be lifting the cup as the inaugural winners.

Algarve Golf Challenge Event

The Algarve Golf Challenge will see the best team of 2 (four-ball 3/4 handicap) score after the 2 days walk away with first prize being a golf holiday. There are prizes for the top 10 teams valued at over €4000.

Eligibility

The tournament is open to golfers aged 18 and over, so all levels of golfers are invited to participate. (team of 2, four-ball ¾ handicap)

Flights

Flights are not included. You can book these yourself from Dublin to Faro on Friday 27th January to Monday 30th January.

2 Options:

Aer Lingus EI494 from Dublin to Faro on Fri 27th Jan – dep 14:30

Aer Lingus EI495 from Faro to Dublin on Mon 30th Jan – dep 18:00

or

Ryanair FR7032 from Dublin to Faro on Fri 27th Jan – dep 17:25

Ryanair FR7033 from Faro to Dublin on Mon 30th Jan – dep 13:55

As of 16/01/17 (12:00hrs), Aer Lingus is €178 return with Ryanair €145 return.

(There are no flights from Shannon or Cork to Faro at that time of year.)

Accommodation, Golf & Transfers

3 nights B&B accommodation (Fri, Sat & Sun) in a twin room sharing basis at the 5* Pestana Vila Sol Golf Resort in Vilamoura with the Golf on Saturday & Sunday. We are covering the airport transfers on these dates for both flights.

Club Rental

If you wish to get club rental, may we suggest Clubstohire.com and if you let us know your booking reference, we can arrange for the clubs to be delivered and collected complimentary, to and from the hotel.

Price & Summary

The price of €299pp including:

  • 3 Nights B&B at 5* Vila Sol Resort in Vilamoura (27th to 30th Jan) based on twin room sharing.
  • 2 Rounds of Golf at Vila Sol on Sat & Sun (27 hole facility so each person will play 1-18 and 19-27 & 1-9 on alternating days).
  • Airport Transfers for those on flights mentioned above.
  • Welcome pack including polo shirt.
  • Finger food and complimentary drink at the presentation of prizes on the Sunday evening.
  • Prizes for top 10 teams, longest drive / closest to pin.

Single room supplement is €126pp.

Any questions please give Fintan or Andrew a call in our Limerick booking office on 061-293533.

Top 10 Golf Travel Trends for 2017 by Ed Schmidt

Ladies and gentlemen, start your packing! I’m predicting 2017 will be a great golf travel year. Last week (November 14-18), the U.S. dollar was at its highest rate in 14 years so American travelers will, no doubt, take advantage of this promising turn of events. Plus, golf travel is easier than ever to plan with new technologies no matter where you are in the world.

Here are the Golf Travel Guru’s top 10 travel trends for 2017:

1. Combo Golf Trips–While the buddy/friends trip to Scotland and Ireland will continue its seemingly never ending popularity, golf travelers taking couples or multi-generation trips are increasingly opting for packages that can include everything from wine and whiskey tastings to safaris and luxury cruises. An itinerary packed with 18 to 36 holes a day is still appealing to golf fanatics, however, casual golfers who love to travel and play are enhancing trips with varied activities in between rounds. In addition, planning a golf vacation around a major event like the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, Presidents Cup or Major like the Open Championship, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and The Masters is becoming more prevalent.

2. Luxury Golf Cruises–Various golf travel companies are highlighting luxury cruising as the main source of travel to play great golf courses. For instance, Premier Golf is offering an 11-night excursion aboard the the $450 million Regent Seven Seas Explorer, the most expensive luxury liner ever built. The uber-luxurious ship will make stops in golf capitals like Edinburgh, Scotland, Liverpool, England and Dublin and Cork in Ireland. On the play list are world class layouts like Royal County Down and the European Club.

3. Year of The Grape–If you like wine and golf like I do, ya gotta wonder what took destinations so long to put them together in packages. Countries that are heavily promoting incorporating wine experiences like tours and tastings with golf are Australia, South Africa, Italy, France, New Zealand and the U.S. (Napa Valley and Sonoma in California and Oregon). In the past year I’ve been to Napa/Sonoma, Italy and South Africa and I can fully attest that superb wines and great golf are an excellent pairing.

4. New Destinations–While I’m probably missing a few, my list of emerging golf destinations includes Bulgaria, Turkey, Sweden, Vietnam, Italy, Malaysia and China.

5. Pacific Rim Appeal–After obligatory visits to Scotland and Ireland have been made and new frontiers beckon, the Pacific Rim is an increasingly popular option. Destinations like New Zealand and Australia offer scenic and challenging courses as well as great wines and countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and China have lately become very bullish on golf.

6. New Booking Technology–It’s getting much easier to book a golf vacation with just a few clicks on your own. Golf Voyager, an Ireland-based company, recently debuted a platform to book fully customizable golf packages in real time with immediate confirmation. The easy-to-use, do-it-yourself design combines golf, hotel and transportation options into packages that can be altered to fit your specific needs with confirmed pricing immediately at check-out. I believe you’ll start seeing their widget on on many tourism bureau sites. They offer great rates and Golf Voyager is very simple and user-friendly. The software is up and running for Spain and Portugal and will be followed by Ireland, U.K., U.S.A. and other destinations.

7. Social Media Arrives–Social media is increasingly a huge influencer in golf travel decisions. Instead of a flashy ad or video, travelers are investigating how their peers evaluate particular airlines, hotels and golf courses. More travelers or relying on user-generated reviews at sites like TripAdvisor, GolfAdvisor, Oyster and Yelp to make their decisions. Moreover, travelers are influenced by posts and remarks on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus.

8. The Masters–The popularity of the Masters increases every year and more people want to immerse among the azaleas and pines even if it just means a practice round day. Trust me, whether you attend a Tuesday or Wednesday practice day or the entire tournament week, it’s  a phenomenal, memorable golf experience. From “The Big Oak Tree’ and green and white umbrellas on the patio behind the clubhouse to the amazingly inexpensive 1970s concession prices, there’s nothing in the golf universe quite like Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters tournament. Some of the companies offering Masters packages that I recommend include Georgia Sports and Premier Golf Travel.

9. Alternative Accommodations–Multi-amenity golf resorts are still the most desired accommodations, however, experienced, intrepid travelers are increasingly considering private vacation homes and Airbnb as other options, especially for extended stays. Now, it’s easier than ever to book a private home, room in a home or an apartment.

10.Bucket List Adventures–While greens fee prices keep climbing, bucket list courses like Pebble Beach and The Old Course at St. Andrews are actually increasing in popularity. In the U.S., topping the list are Pinehurst, Bandon Dunes, TPC THE PLAYERS Sawgrass, Whistling Straits, Bethpage Black, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Streamsong Resort. Internationally, courses like Royal Troon and Muirfield in Scotland, Royal County Down and Ballybunion in Ireland, Royal St. George in England, Valderrama in Spain, Fancourt Links in South Africa, Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic, Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, Royal Melbourne in Australia, Banff Springs and Cabot Links in Canada and Vale do Lobo in Portugal are Bucket List favorites.

By Ed Schmidt – The Golf Travel Guru

To view the original article just click here or on the link below.

http://www.thegolftravelguru.com/2016/11/top-10-golf-travel-trends-for-2017.html?spref=fb

 

 

 

Golf Voyager heading for IGTM 2016

 

The International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) 2016 annual conference takes place in Mallorca next week (13th to 17th November). Co-hosted by International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) and the Mallorca Golf Tourism Board, the Golf Voyager team will be well represented at the event where the global golf travel industry meet annually for a week which includes 3 intense days of scheduled appointments.

This will be the 4th IGTM for Golf Voyager, having previously been to Costa Dorada, Lake Como and Tenerife. The ‘GV Team’ will meet and greet many friends and familiar faces. Rates for 2017/18 will be negotiated, new destinations added and strong working relationships cemented further.

Son Vida will play host the 2016 IGTM Golf Tournament with Luis, Rosa, Conor & Fintan teeing off on Monday morning before they get down to real business on Tuesday. All work and no play ……..

son-vida1

Son Vida Golf, Mallorca

http://www.igtm.co.uk/

In addition to the meetings, IGTM is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. Suppliers join buyers and international press for the four days of networking, presentations and meetings making it a fantastic event to do business. This conference is especially relevant to all companies in the Golf Travel industry.

The 2017 IAGTO Awards will be presented at a Gala Dinner on Thursday night November 18th at the impressive Son Amar in Mallorca where the top resorts, courses and regions will be honored. Previous winners of the Honorary / Hall of Fame award include: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ernie Els and Seve Ballesteros.

Last years winners (2016) announced at IGTM 2015 in Tenerife were as follows:

Golf Destination of the Year – North America: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Golf Destination of the Year – Latin America & Caribbean: Dominican Republic
Golf Destination of the Year – Africa & Gulf States: Mauritius
Golf Destination of the Year – Europe: Lisboa Golf Coast, Portugal
Golf Destination of the Year – Asia & Australasia: Vietnam
Golf Resort of the Year – Europe: Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort, Portugal
Golf Resort of the Year – North America: Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Florida
Golf Resort of the Year – Rest of the World: Banyan The Resort Hua Hin, Thailand
Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Tasmania
IAGTO Honorary Award: Michael Campbell

2016 IAGTO Sustainability Awards Winners
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Europe, Middle East & Africa: La Galiana Campo de Golf, Spain
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Americas: PGA National Resort & Spa, Florida
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year – Asia: Mission Hills Haikou, China

Golf Voyager – Recent Press Articles

Golf Voyagers collaboration with the Costa Brava Tourist Board has been a huge step in bringing golf to Girona and the surrounding areas of North-Eastern Spain.

With such courses as PGA Catalunya, Emporda, Perlada and Golf de Pals just to name a few, it is no wonder that more and more golfers are discovering this beautiful region famous for its wine, gastronomy and now golf!!

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The 3rd Green at Golf de Pals

We are pleased to hgv-irish-indoave received positive coverage of our partnerships and we have been featured in a number of both online and print articles recently.

The Irish Independent featured Golf Voyager in its ‘Tee to Green’ supplement on November 3rd 2016.

Brian Keogh also wrote a great piece on the Irish Golf Desk.

http://www.irishgolfdesk.com/news-files/2016/10/29/irish-company-golf-voyager-teams-up-with-costa-brava-but-expanding-globally

 

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The Costa Brava Tourist Board Press Release can be seen here:

http://www.mygolfway.com/en/costa-brava-golfers-can-now-build-their-own-best-value-golf-breaks-with-golf-voyager/

 

The Limerick Post article on our “new approach” to booking a golf holiday is below.

Limerick firm tees up a new approach to golfing holidays

Costa Brava – Golfers can now build their own best-value golf breaks with Golf Voyager

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PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain’s best golf resort

 

PRESS RELEASE

Golfers can now build their own best value golf breaks to the Costa Brava

 

Golf Voyager’s software – powered by Booking.com – will enable golfers to fully customise their packages to the award-winning golf destination.

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(Girona, Spain – October 24, 2016) Costa Brava has teamed up with Golf Voyager, the industry’s first real-time booking engine that combines live golf, hotel, car hire and transfer availability, to enable golfers to customise and book best value packages to this north-eastern part of Spain.

 

Powered by Booking.com, leaders in online hotel bookings, Golf Voyager’s software enables customers to build bespoke packages thanks to its smart and dynamic platform, which links into 600,000+ hotels worldwide and 24,000 courses in 192 countries.

 

Conor Galvin, CEO of Golf Voyager.com, said: “Golf courses in Spain, Portugal and Ireland have engaged with the platform, as it enables customers to create breaks based on clusters of multi-course packages and taking advantage of group savings and built-in partner hotel discounts.

 

“Our ‘Best Price Guarantee’ is possible thanks to ‘behind the scenes’ partnerships between hotels and neighbouring golf courses help create multi-round offers that meet golfers’ particular budgets, ensuring customers are presented with the best value offer possible.”

 

Ramon Ramos, Director of the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board, added: “Although the Costa Brava is already a popular destination for golfers from across the world as a capital of golf and gastronomy, Golf Voyager’s intelligent and cutting edge system will not only help streamline the booking process of a golf break, it will also enable us to market our collective product in a far smarter way.”

 

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3rd green at Golf de Pals 50th Anniversary 1966-2016

 

Golfers thinking of visiting the Costa Brava region have a selection of courses to choose from, which include:

  • PGA Catalunya Resort, home to Spain’s No.1 golf course[1] and the country’s Best Golf Resort 2015[2].
  • British-designed Golf de Pals, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year
  • Hotel Peralada Wine Spa & Golf, the region’s northern-most course designed according to environmentally-friendly specifications
  • Club Golf d’Aro Mas Nou, which offers spectacular vistas from its 300m above sea-level perch
  • Empordà Golf Resort, a 36-hole golf and hotel complex with its European Top 100 ranked Links Course
  • One of the region’s oldest courses, Club de Golf Costa Brava, that offers a good test for all standards of player
  • Torremirona Golf Club that enjoys wonderful views of the Pyrenees
  • Par 3 Gualta – perfect for those looking to perfect their short game or for a quick and pleasant round

 

With the newly opened high-speed train (AVE) line, Girona is just 38 minutes from Barcelona and easily accessible thanks to Girona-Costa Brava Airport, an important Ryanair and Jet2.com hub.

 

Additional information on Costa Brava can be found at www.costabrava.org or visit www.golfvoyager.com

 

[1] As listed by Top100golfcourses.co.uk

[2] As ranked in Golf World magazine’s inaugural Top 100 Resorts of Continental Europe 2017

Golf Trip Planning Made Easy by Ed Schmidt

Golf Trip Planning Made Super Easy By Ed Schmidt

I’ve been in the golf travel business for nearly three decades and I’ve witnessed a plethora of new ideas and innovations. I think I’ve discovered what could be the most intelligent golf packaging booking system ever built to make golf trip planning super easy.

Golf Voyager, an Ireland-based company, recently debuted a platform to book fully customizable golf packages in real time with immediate confirmation. The easy-to-use, do-it-yourself design combines golf, hotel and transportation options into packages that can be altered to fit your specific needs with confirmed pricing immediately at check-out. Golf Voyager’s unique software builds the packages instantly with real-time pricing and availability. It offers great rates and, I promise you, is very simple and user-friendly.

Currently the software is up and running for trips to Spain with Portugal slated to be operational in September (2016) followed by Ireland, U.K. and U.S.A.

So, if you want to play golf in Spain, I suggest you click to Golf Voyager and see how easy golf packaging has become.

To see original article go to:

Golf trip planning made super easy By Ed Schmidt

Golf Voyager Beefs Up London Golf Show

London Golf Show 2016

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Andrew McCormack & Fintan Ward of Golf Voyager at London Golf Show 2016

Fintan Ward and Andrew McCormack were in London to showcase the Golf Voyager booking engine at The London Golf Show last weekend. The event took place in the Glow Exhibition Hall at the impressive Blue Water Venue in Dartford over 3 days, with over 15,000 golf enthusiasts coming through the doors.
Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston dropped by to say hello and tested the system for himself. He reckons all his mates will be using Golf Voyager from now on.

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Mark Crossfield with Fintan Ward at London Golf Show 2016

Some of the other highlights were Setup Eye by Les Egan, Zen Oracle, Dangerous GolfGolphin4kids and trick shot world champion Geoff Swain with the trick shot boys.

Big Thank You & Congratulations
The event was run expertly by Simon Jones with Mark Crossfield and Coach Lockey on hand for lessons, tips, jokes and good friendly banter. An event not to be missed on the golfing calendar.

Finally, congratulations to Jeff Butler who visited our stand during the show and was drawn out of the hat as the lucky winner of a Golf Voyager holiday voucher.

Golf Voyager Powering Spanish Golfing Websites

The revolutionary software developed by the Golf Voyager team of developers is now powering some of the top Spanish golfing websites. In last past few weeks, the Golf Voyager team have signed agreements and widgets have been deployed in websites such as Andaluciagolf.com, Costagolfguide.com, Spainguides.com and Costadelgolfguide.com.

 

Thinking about a golfing holiday? Well check out these sites below.

costa1costa del golf guide logospain-guides-logo

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Not sure exactly where to go?  Well, there is no place better to research your holiday than with any of the above websites who all have in-depth local knowledge of Andalucia and the Costa del Sol, courses to suit all levels of golfers and budgets. They also have reviews on where to stay, places to eat and other activities of interest. You will also find reviews from people who have recently travelled to Spain.

By entering your details into the search you will see a selection of golf packages that are easy to customise with live access to tee time availability and immediate confirmation.

Luis Navarro appointed as Director of Sales, Iberia

Golf Voyager is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Luis Navarro as Director of Sales for Iberia.  Mr. Navarro will be based in Marbella in the heart of the sunny Costa del Sol, Spain. He is widely respected within the golf industry with over 20 years experience managing some of the top courses in Spain including Aloha, Rio Real, Club de Golf El Bosque and Alicante.

Costa del Sol – Still No.1

The Costa del Sol is still the number one golf destination in Europe with golf courses to suit every level of golfer and all budgets.  The Golf Voyager platform enables golfers to build their perfect itinerary of Golf, accommodation, and transfers in real time with live availability.  Check out some of the best value packages here that are confirmed immediately at checkout.

 

 

Podcast of Conor Galvin, CEO of ‘GolfVoyager.com’ speaking on Dublin City FM.

Click on the link below to listen back to ‘The Persuaders’ show on Dublin City FM when Conor Galvin spoke to Alex Gibson about Golf Voyager following Phocuswright Europe.

Podcast from ‘The Persuaders’ on Dublin City FM

Emporda Golf Links & Forest – The best of both worlds

Last month we visited the majestic 36 hole Emporda Golf Resort boasting 2 championship courses. As the names suggest the Links Course has the traditional links feel to it while the Forest Course is surrounded by large mature trees. Having 2 distinctly different courses at one resort is great and with the 4* Double Tree by Hilton Hotel & Spa onsite you will be well looked after. Check out the video above.

Andrew heads to the South

The Golf Voyager team will be keeping an eye on proceeding as our own Andrew McCormack will tee it up with the top amateur golfers for ‘The South of Ireland’ at the famed Lahinch Links in County Clare tomorrow. Andrew has had a good season so far winning the Mid-West Alliance and the Senior Scratch Cup in Douglas culminating in a Munster Cap for the inter-provincials at Fota Island. Andrew who plays off +2 out of Castletroy Golf Club is a marketing graduate from the University of Limerick and we wish him the best of luck at The South!! (Picture above shows Andrew with the Douglas Scratch Cup 2016).

 

“The most important shot in golf is the next one.”

– Ben Hogan

Coach hire transfers partnership with Simply Shuttles

Golf Voyager are pleased to announce a partnership agreement with Simply Shuttles, who will be our preferred private transfers partner in Costa del Sol.
Simply Shuttles are recognised as one of the top transport providers stretching the length of the Costa del Sol from Malaga to Sotogrande with a fleet of luxury vehicles that are second to none.  We recently met up with Jonathan Snell, CEO of Simply Shuttles at IGTM (International Golf Travel Market) hosted by IAGTO in Tenerife. (Pictured from LtoR: Jonathan Snell, Rosa Frutos, Conor Galvin & Fintan Ward).

“I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s game: It’s called an eraser.”

– Arnold Palmer