What a week at the annual IGTM golf travel fair in Costa Daurada, 100km south of Barcelona. True Golf Marketing attended the fair for three years now to support Nordic Travel/Golf in Sweden in its effort to bring more golfers to Sweden. This year was special though, because Sweden as a golf destination has finally been recognized and received the prestigious “2014 Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year” award.
150 journalists of the International Golf Travel Writers Association gave their votes and had to choose from nominees. Hopefully this award will help many tour operators, journalists and most importantly travellers to discover Sweden as a golf destination. You can read the full press release at the end of this entry.
The days at the Port Aventura convention centers were filled with meetings with tour operators from all over the world. All of them interesting, some more promising than others though. The program included a fabulous welcome night at La Boella, the IAGTO party in the wild west part of the amusement park (including a ride in a roller coaster) and finally on Thursday night the big gala dinner in the old bullfighting ring of Tarragona, that has been transformed in a modern event arena.
Here is the full press release from the Swedish Golf Federation:
The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) has named Sweden as the 2014 Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year. The announcement headlined the global golf tourim organisation’s annual Awards Gala Dinner in Tarragona, Costa Daurada, Spain earlier today.
“We are thrilled to receive this award that will let the rest of the world in on one of golf’s best kept secrets,” says Christer Bergfors, president of The Swedish Golf Federation. “Sweden has made a name for itself as a golfing nation with the success of golfing legend Annika Sörenstam and PGA Tour players like Jesper Parnevik, Henrik Stenson, Peter Hanson and Jonas Blixt. This is an achievement made more remarkable given the long winters, but unsurprising given the quality of the golf courses,” adds Bergfors.
The Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year Award was announced as part of the influential IAGTO Awards, held at the end of International Golf Travel Market, the golf travel industry’s annual trade show. The award is voted on by 150 members of the International Golf Travel Writers Association, which is administered by IAGTO. Tasked with identifying an “undiscovered gem” among the world’s golf destinations, members assess each nomination against criterias as to what extent the destination is “undiscovered”, qualities that make it an interesting golf destination, attractiveness of the region and courses, quality and accessibility of the courses.
Sweden has 480 courses with 474 000 members. Here you will find championship courses such as Bro Hof Slott, Barsebäck GCC and Halmstad GC. In 2003 and 2007, Sweden hosted the Solheim Cup at Barsebäck and Halmstad and the European Tour tournament Nordea Masters been held at Bro Hof this year. 13 Swedish golf courses made to the prestigious Rolex World´s Top 1000 Golf Courses last year and Bro Hof Slott is ranked second-best European course outside Great Britain by Golf World.
1973 Scandinavian Enterprise Open (SEO) was the first Swedish tournament on The European Tour and every year since has seen a tournament in Sweden. Sweden has currently two tournaments on the European Tours. In 2014 both will be played in Skåne, the southern part of Sweden. Nordea Masters at PGA National in Bara and Helsingborg Open for ladies at Vasatorp Golf Club outside Helsingborg.