Tourism September 8, 2015 | 8:45 am

Experts list Dominican Republic´s golf tourism woes, pluses

La Romana, Dominican Republic.-Among the numerous activities hosted at the DR Golf Travel Exchange 2015figured a specialized seminar to assess the experiences, projections and the sub-sector´s challenges yet to surmount by Dominican Republic´s golf tourism.

In the seminar heldat Casa de Campo PGA Magazine publisher Richard Summers explained the several successfulmarketing strategies to sell golf travel and which have led to the developmentof golf tourism in various destinations and markets.

Meanwhile Claudio DeMarchi, President of the International Golf Tour Operators Association,subsidiary of IAGTO-North America, listed the services which its members offers,noting that they sell over 85% of golf vacation packages worldwide.

He said the DominicanRepublic must surmount several challenges to boost its golf tourism offer,especially relating to simpler pricing for its hotel packages to attract moreof the high end tourists. “A golfer spends 20% more than the regular tourist, andoften doubles that.”

Dominican Golf Federation(FEDOGOLF) Vice President Carlos Elmúdesi described golf evolution´s time-line inthe Dominican Republic, and urged more collaboration from the government to strengthenwhat he called a key market niche and eliminate its weaknesses.

For Casa de Campo GolfDirector Gilles Gagnon, the resort´s history and experience in the sport are unrivaled,citing some of the most striking strategies which have made it DominicanRepublic´s most successful and preferred golf destination, both here and abroad.

Golf Mecca

DR Golf TravelExchange CEO Teddy de Lara noted that Dominican Republic´s 18 professional golfcourses makes the country the leader in Central American and the Caribbean inthe tourism subsector, and in Latin American per capita.

De Lara cautionedhowever that high airfares are scaring away potential golf visitors, and urgedall stakeholders to work jointly to bolster arrivals. “We cannot let our guarddown.”

He projected a jumpof some US$300 million in Dominican Republic´s golf tourism from 2015 to 2016, andalso expects an increase in the percentage of those tourists for that period.

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