The winning destinations in the golf tourism industry’s annual celebration of excellence are Spain’s Costa del Sol and Logroño-La Rioja regions, Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Hua Hin in Thailand and Scottsdale, in Arizona. Golf resort awards were scooped up by Scotland’s Gleneagles, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, in Canadian province British Columbia, and Mission Hills Haikou, on China’s tropical paradise island of Hainan.
Besides the IAGTO Awards – organised by global golf tourism trade organisation IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) – a further four golf resorts were lauded for their environmental and community efforts in the 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards. Run in conjunction with non-profit golf sustainability body GEO Foundation, they have been held for the last six years. The 2019 winners are: Italy’s Gardagolf Country Club; Jack’s Point Golf, in New Zealand; Al Mouj Golf, in Oman; and Portugal’s Vidago Palace, which is only the second recipient of a Special Award.
The winners were announced to 1,200 international golf tourism delegates at the gala dinner, which was held in the Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre at the end of the 21st International Golf Travel Market.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “With our annual Golf Tourism Awards now in their 19th year, it is inevitable and expected that a number of tonight’s Award winners were receiving this highest of accolades for the second or third time. But there were also some stand-out first time winners including the Costa del Sol deservedly being voted European Golf Destination of the Year, and on the other end of the scale but also in Spain, the evocative region of Logroño-La Rioja being nominated Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year by the world’s leading golf travel writers.
“The fact that Gleneagles and Fairmont Chateau Whistler were first-time winners demonstrates the wealth of incredible golf resorts available and the strength of the competition. Delivering the best possible experience for the visiting golf travel consistently year after year saw the Dominican Republic become the only four-time winner (2009, 2013, 2016, 2019) with Mauritius on three (2008, 2016, 2019) and Mission Hills Haikou (2012, 2019), Scottsdale (2011, 2019) and Hua Hin (2014, 2019) all picking up the iconic crystal Award for the second time.
“This year we are also shining a light on the tremendous efforts being made by Global-Golf-4-Cancer and its stoic founder Nick Edmund.”
2019 IAGTO Awards winners
Golf Destination of the Year – North America: Scottsdale, Arizona
Golf Destination of the Year – Latin America & Caribbean: Dominican Republic
Golf Destination of the Year – Africa, the Gulf States & Indian Ocean: Mauritius
Golf Destination of the Year – Europe: Costa del Sol, Spain
Golf Destination of the Year – Asia & Australasia: Hua Hin, Thailand
European Golf Resort of the Year: Gleneagles, Scotland
North American Golf Resort of the Year: Fairmont Chateau Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Asia Pacific Golf Resort of the Year: Mission Hills Haikou, Hainan Island, China
Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Logroño-La Rioja, Spain
2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year for Nature Protection: Jack’s Point Golf, New Zealand
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year for Community Value: Al Mouj Golf, Oman
Sustainable Golf Course of the Year for Resource Efficiency: Gardagolf Country Club, Italy
Special Award: Vidago Palace, Portugal