Published on : Thursday, January 9, 2014
China’s tropical Hainan Island will be the focal point for the Asian golf tourism industry when the 3rd annual Asia Golf Tourism Convention heads to award-winning resort Mission Hills Hainan this spring.
With more than two months still to go, the number of tour operator buyers has already exceeded the total for AGTC 2013, which attracted 146 buyer delegates from 29 countries out of a total 500-plus attendees. Latest figures show that 152 tour operator buyers from 35 countries have already signed up.
AGTC 2014, which takes place from 24-27 March, is being held by global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour operators) in partnership with the Mission Hills Group and the Haikou government.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “2014 will mark the 3rd consecutive year of growth in golf travel worldwide for the majority of the global golf tourism industry, and this is the perfect moment to be taking the AGTC to China. More buyers than ever before will be attending the event, demonstrating the importance of both China and other golf destinations in the Asia Pacific to the golf traveller.
China is the fastest growing outbound golf market in Asia and also has some of the most exciting golf destinations in the region, Hainan Island is one of the most rapidly developing golf destinations in the world and the Mission Hills Group, as always, have been at the forefront of these dynamic achievements, so we are delighted that Mission Hills Hainan will be hosting the most important international golf tourism event in the Asia Pacific region this year.”
Walton added: “We encourage every company involved in golf tourism throughout the Asia Pacific region to attend the AGTC and we look forward to this ground breaking event.”
Located in a volcanic park on exotic Hainan Island and offering 10 golf courses in a volcanic landscape in addition to extensive leisure and mineral spring spa facilities, Mission Hills Hainan was named IAGTO’s Golf Resort of the Year for Asia & Australasia for 2012 and is accredited as the World’s Largest Spa and Volcanic Spring Resort by Guinness World Records.
Mission Hills Group Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu said: “I would like to express a special thank you to IAGTO for staging this convention and for providing us with both the opportunity to meet with business acquaintances and old friends, and also the chance to make new ones.”
Xie Jing, Vice Mayor of Hainan’s capital, Haikou City, said: “It is a great honour that IAGTO has decided to stage the 2014 Asian Golf Tourism Convention in Mission Hills Hainan, in China. This will have an enormous impact on Hainan’s strategy to develop as an international tourism Island and a world class golfing destination.”
More than 160 supplier companies from 20 countries are expected to attend AGTC 2014. Among new suppliers for 2014 are Tourism New Zealand, the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa and HMN Worldwide from Korea.
In addition to meeting with golf resorts, golf courses, hotels and specialist ground handlers from all over the Asia Pacific region, Asian and other golf tour operators from around the world will be able to meet with event sponsors including La Quinta Resort & Spa/PGA West, Myrtle Beach and Mississippi, all from the USA, and also for the second year, AGS Golf Vacations from Scotland.
Among testimonials from delegates at AGTC 2013 were:
“The convention has been absolutely fantastic. We have made excellent contacts with tour operators from around the world and the show has totally exceeded our expectations so we will definitely be going in 2014.”
John Blanch, General Manager, Thai Country Club
“It was a pleasant surprise that so many valuable suppliers and buyers attend AGTC and the convention exceeded more than my expectations. I think AGTC is positioned successfully and I expect many more Korean companies to attend next year.”
Joo-Beom Lee, President, Cool World Travel, Korea
“AGTC has been very productive for us and it was successful for us to attend. With our prepared packages we have got at least six or seven groups to follow up with from Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia, and each group is about 30 people, which is a great result.”
Kahori Tsutsumi, Coordinator, Hokkaido Golf Tourism Association
“AGTC has been very successful. We have had some very good meetings – quality meetings at that so we are expecting a lot more business to come through. AGTC is a very good platform for us to promote golf in the Philippines.”
Connie Marmaril, Managing Director, Regent Travel Corporation, Philippines
The Asia Golf Tourism Convention has previously been staged in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2013, and at The Mines Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2012.