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”.
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.