Golf Tourism England uses its first appearance at the International Golf Travel Market to inspire key tourism suppliers and buyers

Golf Tourism England (GTE) enjoyed a welcome reception from golf’s key tourism suppliers and buyers during its first appearance at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM).

Hosted in 2014 in Lake Como, Italy, the event presented a terrific opportunity for the rapidly-growing GTE to show off England’s wealth of golf destinations to 65 countries worldwide.

With support from Visit England, GTE played a pivotal role in establishing the very first England Pavilion within the IGTM venue, which delivered increased footfall and enhanced exposure for the GTE member bodies exhibiting.

Since its inception in July 2014, more than 70 golf properties have enlisted as GTE members, several of which joined founder Andrew Cooke at IGTM to demonstrate the strength of England’s golf tourism potential.

Mark Addison, golf business manager at The Belfry, told GM: “We have already seen the benefits of the membership through IGTM and the Visit England pavilion which was coordinated by GTE. It helped to educate and raise awareness of the golf on offer within England and allowed fellow English clubs and resorts to work in partnership.

“Since the formation of GTE earlier in the year, Andrew and his team have been a great help and we are excited about the opportunities GTE will provide and the work that is being done to put golf in England on the map as a world-class destination.”

These sentiments were echoed by the likes of Goodwood, England’s Golf Coast, Visit Kent, Close House and The Grove.

John George, general manager at Prince’s Golf Club and The Lodge at Prince’s, added: “For the first time this year we had a group of clubs exhibiting at IGTM Lake Como and the impact this had was tremendous.

“While we each had our individual stands, the uniformity, branding and the ability to pass business across to a colleague representing another area of England with ease was incredible. England for once was properly represented at an international golf tourism event.”

Encouraged by the wealth of praise for the GTE strategy, Cooke said: “IGTM provided an important opportunity to engage with tour operators across the board and all of our members were able to strike new relationships and open opportunities for more international golfers to visit England.

“Our co-ordinated approach brings our members together under one umbrella and collectively presents England as a more attractive business proposition, thus encouraging the creation of new inbound travel routes.”

The new partnerships will work to grow golf tourism to England and, over the coming months, VisitEngland will be working with Golf Tourism England and England Golf to develop a national golf tourism strategy, including new itineraries incorporating England’s most popular links, heathland and parkland courses, our greatest attractions and delicious local food and drink.

To find out more about Golf Tourism England, visit www.golftourismengland.com.