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Published on : Thursday, December 10, 2015
Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), visited Port Louis today to present the President of MGTA with IAGTO’s 2016 Golf Destination of the Year Award.
The 16th annual edition of the most prestigious Awards in the golf tourism industry saw Mauritius win the Golf Destination of the Year for the Africa, Indian Ocean & Gulf States region for the second time, having received the accolade previously in 2008.
The Awards are voted for by IAGTO’s 591 member international golf tour operators who control over 85% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide. Walton said “Despite the relatively small number of golf courses on the island, this Award demonstrates the importance that international golf tour operators attach to Mauritius as a serious golf destination, with 34% of our member operators (186 in 36 countries) featuring, promoting and selling golf vacations to Mauritius.”
The Awards Ceremony itself took place on 8th October on the final night of the International Golf Travel Market in Tenerife, Spain, in front of an audience of 1500 golf tourism professionals from around the world.
Peter Walton is visiting Mauritius for five days to meet with the members of the Mauritius Golf Tourism Association (MGTA) and the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA). In 2002 Walton was co-author of the Golf Tourism Development Strategy for Mauritius, commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, since which time the number of ‘export ready’ golf courses have grown from 3 to 7 and golf visitor arrivals have increased steadily every year.
Michael Geedharry, President of the MGTA, said “Golfers represent 6% of total visitor arrivals to Mauritius but most importantly are responsible for 9% of the country’s tourism revenue.”
Remarking on the future of golf tourism to Mauritius, Peter Walton said “Now is the perfect time for Mauritius to position itself as an established and integrated golf destination on the world stage, to push revenues beyond 10% of all tourism receipts, to drive home the importance of this powerful and influential niche market.”
Geedharry stated that “With IAGTO’s support, the Mauritian golf tourism industry is united in targeting a further 21% growth over the coming three years. We will pool our resources and expertise and harness the experience of IAGTO in order to implement an integrated golf tourism strategy, starting with immediate effect.”
On receiving the Award, Chairman of the MTPA, Mr Martin, said “We are delighted to receive this Award once again in recognition of the efforts of the private and public sectors working together to deliver the best possible experience to visiting golf travellers. We have long recognised the importance of golf tourism to the country’s economy, but it is also clear that much more can be achieved. The MTPA is committed to supporting the promotion of golf tourism and the implementation of a golf tourism strategy that will achieve the growth objective set out by IAGTO and MGTA this week.”