The most important golf trade event of the year, the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) will be coming to the Tivoli Marina Hotel in Vilamoura next year. IGTM 2012 will be the 15th edition of this premier global event for golf tourism suppliers, buyers and media and takes place from November 12th–15th 2012.
Like its neighbour the Costa del Sol, the Algarve has evolved into one of the top European golfing destinations over the last 30 years, thanks to 300+ days of sunshine a year, calm winds and a variety of championship standard golf courses spread along the coastline. Many of the Algarve’s timeshare resorts are either directly linked to, or close to, some of the top 18-hole courses. Golf is a key attraction for guests staying at the aptly-named Four Seasons Fairways resort in Vilamoura, and leading timeshare groups Petchey Leisure and Club La Costa are just two shared ownership specialists with resorts close to golf in the region.
At the Four Seasons there are three golf courses on the resort with the Vila Sol championship course a short drive away, all providing some of the most challenging golf to be experience in the Algarve. Members and guests of the Four Seasons receive guaranteed tee times and discounts at Vila Sol, Quinta do Lago, Pinheiros Altos and Vale do Lobo. The game has really boosted Portugal’s tourism numbers, opening it up as a year-round destination before and after the high summer beach season.
António Pina, president of the Algarve Tourism Board said: “It is with considerable pride that Portugal, and more specifically the Algarve, will once again host the prestigious International Golf Travel Market.
“With exceptional facilities and an enviable year-round climate, IGTM 2012 will provide the Algarve with a significant opportunity to promote the region as a first-class golf destination,” he added.
Originally purpose-built for tourism in the 1970s, the Algarve has developed into a cosmopolitan destination with celebrity residents from the world of music and sport, including Sir Cliff Richard who owns a vineyard in the area. Nearly six million visitors each year hit the fairways of the Algarve’s 35 golf courses designed by golf legends such as Sir Henry Cotton, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo and the late Seve Ballesteros.
Peter Grimster, exhibition manager of IGTM said: “Portugal has been at the heart of the golf travel business for three decades and it has established itself as one of Europe’s finest destinations. The quality of golf courses and resorts in Vilamoura is outstanding, and combined with an excellent conference facility at The Tivoli Marina Hotel, we have all the necessary logistics to stage a truly fantastic event.”