Turkey tipped as top golf destination

Belek hosts the International Golf Travel Market 2011

Turkey will be welcoming some of the world’s top golf industry delegates this winter when its golfing region Belek hosts the IGTM November 14-17. It will be the first time the country has hosted the event which is now in its thirteenth year.

Mark Walsh, director of IFTM, says Turkey looks set to tee off as the next big golf destination

“The Turkish tourism industry is one of the most successful and fast growing in Europe, with an impressive 13% increase in arrivals in 2010,” he commented recently. “The established golf resorts in Belek – including our six partner hotels – and those being built – are among the best in the world, putting Turkey at the forefront of the European golf tourism industry.”

The country still has some catching up to do compared to Spain, though, which has more courses per head than any other destination. The Costa del Sol alone has well over fifty courses but the figure rises to seventy plus if you include the inland courses around Andalucia.

The IGTM will attract 1,400 delegates from the world of golf, from 67 countries, and the event will give Turkey the opportunity to showcase its golf leisure product to a global golf industry audience on its home turf, for the first time.

Belek, a short drive from the popular tourist resort of Antalya, has already made a name for itself as Turkey’s prime golf “resort”. One example of an ongoing project is Belek Golf Club. The club is a client of Resort Development Organisation member First National Trustee Company (FNTC) which is working with the club on a development of luxury homes set in beautiful golf surroundings.

Currently there are half a dozen or so 18-hole golf courses, with more due to be developed.

Cumhur Guven Tasbasi, Culture Head of the PR department at the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, said the IGTM event will “rightfully position Belek and Antalya as a world class golf travel destination.”

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