IGTM is a 4-day gathering of tour operators and suppliers mostly from Europe, but from around the world as well. After 2 years of virtual zoom meetings, it was great to meet in person again. IGTM is full agenda with 1 day for the golf tournament (we are golf tour operators after all!), 3 days of meetings and an opening and closing reception means lots of time to connect with old friends, meet new ones, and learn more about what is going on in the world of golf travel.
The general theme we felt at the meeting – While we aren’t quite back to normal, we all see the light at the end of the tunnel and 2022 / 2023 are shaping up to be busy years for all of us. It was a smaller conference than normal but without a doubt, anyone who was there was committed to the task of re-building golf travel.
We met with many of the large contingent from Ireland (and hoisted a few pints with them after the meetings as well) and that sentiment is very much shared by them.
Many of the top courses are sold out in 2022 already (despite some begging by TJ to open more tee times up) but that does not mean golfing in Ireland in 2022 is out of the question. The North West of Ireland is full of great golf, accommodations, and arguably a more authentic Irish experience and we met with may suppliers to get some great new options in place for our clients interested in Ireland in 2022.
Portugal had a large contingent at the meeting. They are rightly very proud of an extremely high vaccination level (upwards of 90% of the eligible population) and are eager to welcome golfers back to their courses.
We met with several new properties and were particularly intrigued by the hotel at Monte Rei. With a new course scheduled to open there in a couple of years (on top of the top ranked course already on site), this property will be a great opportunity to include in the itineraries of our many clients who want to go to Portugal.
Ron is visiting Portugal in November to visit many of the properties we currently use and after that meeting, we arranged for him to also go to this hotel for an overnight stay and tour. More on that trip, and a review of the hotel, next month.
Spain also had a strong presence and is equally as proud of their vaccine rates (also close to 90% vaccination rate). You are spoiled for choice in Costa del Sol and we met with many of the hotels and golf courses we, along with several PGA Pros and TSN, will be visiting at the end of November to tour. In December, we will also be telling you about that trip and any new opportunities we come across while there.
Italy, France, Scotland, even Romania amongst many others, we all there and w had a chance to meet with many of them to discuss what opportunities they represent for our clients. If there is somewhere in Europe you want to travel to, we have the contacts.
Not surprisingly, Wales was well represented at the conference and on top of the great golf we were able to experience while there, we also got to meet with many suppliers and without a doubt this is a location every golf enthusiast need to visit.
The people are friendly, there is a wide variety of excellent accommodations, the food was amazing (if you love lamb or seafood, you’ll love Wales!) and the golf is spectacular. With Scotland and Ireland overrun in 2022, Wales offers an authentic link experience and still has a lot of availability in 2022 (and beyond). This may very well be the next “hot” golf destination, so this is your chance to get in early.
Overall, we had a very successful trip with new opportunities in our pockets that we can offer you as you look to start back into your golf travel adventures. Give us a call, we’d be happy to talk golf and set you up on the perfect golf getaway.