Golf Travel Exchange brands Dominican Republic as region’s golf mecca
Punta Cana-Bavaro, Dominican Republic.- DR Golf Travel Exchange2016 on Saturday kicked off a five-day conclave at Barceló Bávaro PalaceDeluxe with participants from 18 countries, whichaccording to the promoters was a 20 percent jump compared with last year’sevent.
Nowin its third year, the DR Golf Travel Exchange has evolved into an institutionwithin Dominican Republic’s tourism agenda, this year attracting 97 delegatesrepresenting 37 tour operator companies and wholesale operators along with 34international golf media.
Inhis welcome speech, Teddy De Lara, CEO of TARGET Marketin Consultores, thecompany organizing the Exchange together with the Tourism Ministry, theInternational Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) and Barceló Hotels& Resorts, said the conclave reaffirms Dominican Republic’s position as theregion’s golf tourism mecca.
Forthe first time this year’s event also drew participants from countriesincluding Australia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. Attendees alsoreturned from countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy,France, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Colombia,Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Paraguay and the Czechia.
“It’sa great honor to be back with all of you at the Dominican Republic Golf TravelExchange in 2016. Thanks to the support and presence of each and every one ofyou, this event has experienced growth that will undoubtedly have an importantimpact on golf tourism in our country—a sector estimated to contribute morethan US$200 million a year to the Dominican economy,” De Lara said.
Heaffirmed that a golf tourist spends as much as US$230 a day, “which is nearlydouble what the normal tourist spends.”
“Thekey goal of this event is the continued growth of this sector that targetsvisitors with a high spending capacity, which is characteristic of manygolfers, and to continue the work to consolidate and strengthen DominicanRepublic’s leadership in the Caribbean and maintain the country’s top spot forgolf in all of the Caribbean and Latin America,” the business leader said.
DRGolf 2016 includes a seminar focused on evaluating marketing strategies for theDominican golf industry. Speakers included Claudio DeMarchi, president of theAmerican division of IAGTO, who spoke on geo-marketing of golf markets; RussellKirk, photographer and videographer specializing in golf, hosted a sessionfocused on mastering the art of photographing golf courses and working withdrones; and Theresa McCann, director of strategic partnership at NBC SportsGroup / The Golf Channel, who spoke on multimedia strategies to reach affluentand influential travelers.
Theevent also included a business workshop for tour operators and internationalwholesalers with Dominican hoteliers and golf course directors where importantbusiness agreements that benefit golf tourism in the country were established.
Agolf tournament is also being held over the course of three days in as many links in the area, for the delegates to see first hand the quality and potentialof the country’s golf courses. Seventy golfers compete in the stroke playtournament in three categories: A, B and women.
Thefirst round was held at Iberostate Golf at the Iberostar Grand Punta Cana inBávaro; the second round was held at Dye Fore in Casa de Campo Resort in LaRomana; and the third round was held at The Lakes at Barceló Bávaro PalaceDeluxe.
Theopening ceremony included a recognition of Casa de Campo Resort for itscontinued support of golf tourism in the country and the institutionalizationof the event.
DRGolf Travel Exchange 2016 counted on the support by the Dominican RepublicMinistry of Tourism, Banreservas, Banco Popular, the International Associationof Golf Tour Operators, Barceló Hotels, Casa de Campo, Hodelpa Hotels,Iberostar Hotels, Cool Haven, Vpar, Turaser, Stella Artois, IVI DMC and Purosde Hostos.