During the latest IGTM event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, I thought I will be able to interview David Ashington (Director of Sales & Hospitality, Monte Rei Golf & Country Club).
Very soon I had to realize that due to time constraints it will not come through.
Thanks to Carlos Ferreira (Owner, Tee Times Golf Agency) I was able to interview David Ashington and Darren Griffiths (Director of Golf, Monte Rei Golf & Country Club last week.
I was interested in how was their business year in 2018 and what are they doing to improve their competitiveness.
How was your business in 2018?
Business was extremely positive in 2018, we achieved all resort goals across all areas of the business, namely; golf, accommodation and food & beverage.
By achieving our pre-defined goals this showed a very positive percentage growth based on 2017 as we expand our business.
We are now operating in 13 European countries, extended our position in North America.
Our expanding reach and demographics are supporting our business needs and commercial objectives.
How could the Algarve attract more golf tourists?
The Algarve is undoubtedly one of the world’s best golf destinations, regularly nominated and accoladed with awards across the golf and leisure tourism sectors from far and wide.
The Algarve tourism board is absolutely brilliant and extremely pro-active in promoting the destination avidly which is absolutely fundamental.
In terms of developing and attracting more golf tourists to the destination would be based on increasing flight routes into the main airport of Faro.
There are still some heavily populated golfing countries that have no direct flights if this can be achieved it will truly help promote and reach more golfers across the globe.
What kind of challenges & trends do you see in the golf resort real estate & golf holiday package sales?
Essentially the challenges will relate to the re-emergence of golf destinations that have been off the map for the past couple of years.
In addition to this there are new destinations that are developing nicely.
This is very clear when you attend the larger tourism shows with so many destinations on display.
Our objectives remain clear which is to focus on our key strengths of high-level of customer service and overall experience.
We are a low volume resort and with targeted staff training methods can look to reach and hopefully surpass our clients’ expectations.
What was Monte Rei Golf & Country Club’s major investment in 2018?
We have a number of new projects in the coming years.
Firstly will be the release of our Clubhouse Residences, which are 40 exceptional frontline golf properties due for completion in the summer of 2019.
Additionally, we are working on our second golf course, Monte Rei South, our second Jack Nicklaus Signature course, which we will announce full details in the coming year.
Over and above, there will be plenty of further additions which are very exciting and keeping everyone extremely busy.
We look forward to sharing the details as soon as they are readily available.
What are you doing for effective personalization of your services, offers, and communication?
As a relatively small resort in terms of
We feel that we manage to do this effectively, but we never stop still.
We are always sitting down and reviewing internally the best way to continue to engage with our clients on a personal level and offer something even better for our year-on-year repeating guests.
In terms of customer service, we have external companies (e.g. 59Club) that monitor our performance and work very closely with us to develop our team to consistently review and support us to enhance our client experience at every single “touchpoint”.
Business development will come through continuing to support and develop business through our network across Europe and North America and for the first time in 2019 we will be commencing with the Asian markets.
What are the best converting social proofs?
Since inauguration in 2007 the brand and the reputation of Monte Rei Golf & Country Club has remained in very high regard in golfing circles and bought with it a very loyal following.
By most respectable media Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is considered the number one golf course in Portugal and is a feature very high in the Continental Europe rankings.
Our accommodation is now gaining awards, most recently, being awarded “Best Serviced Villas in Europe” by Condé Nast Johansens, this has undoubtedly helped develop our leisure segment.