IAGTO’s flagship event, the IAGTO European Convention (IEC) was held in Marbella in Andalucía’s Costa del Sol from 24-26 April 2023.
The three-day event was attended by 634 delegates from 46 countries, making it IAGTO’s largest and most successful event to date.
The level of interest is perhaps not so surprising, as other companies (e.g. Expedia) are showing growth in travel search volume and holiday bookings in 2022.
Sitting alongside IAGTO’s Americas Convention (NAC) and Asia Convention (AGTC), IEC completes a
the trio of annual IAGTO events that span the globe.
During the event, 8,300 meetings were pre-scheduled between buyers and suppliers over two full days, and further networking was facilitated through
- the IEC Golf Tournament played over three courses (La Quinta, Rio Real, and Santa Clara golf clubs),
- five hotel receptions,
- a Feria Andaluza-themed Welcome Reception for all delegates and
- the traditional IAGTO-style Farewell Fiesta.
Thanks to the success of the IAGTO European Convention (IEC), the event will return to Marbella in 2024 (from 13-15 May).
Golf Tour Operators & Digitalization
It is much more important that IAGTO reached an agreement with Zest.Golf even before the IAGTO European Convention.
As a result of it, more than 1,500 IAGTO member golf courses and golf tour operators will have access to Zest.Golf‘s streamlined, LIVE tee-time booking platform.
In short, they will be able to book tee times directly from IAGTO’s website in real-time. Zest.Golf will streamline the booking process for golf tour operators and the courses via a single B2B platform, ultimately saving costs and improving efficiency for members of IAGTO.
This is a very important milestone within the golf tourism industry, because the tour operator sector is probably the most behind technologically.
A recent survey by Arival of more than 3,500 businesses found that more than half of day tour operators are still not using an online booking system.
The positive effect of the recent pandemic is that these golf tour operators started to find digital solutions to their business challenges.
I am expecting golf tour operators and golf resorts will subscribe to digital services that can expand their reach and automate processes.