Jakarta, Indonesia: More than 500 delegates from 40 countries around the world converged on Jakarta to participate in the fourth annual IAGTO Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC).
Taking place at the Jakarta Convention Centre, AGTC 2015 brought together golf tour operators from as far afield as North America, Europe, Australasia, Russia and South Africa selling golf holidays to Asia as well as golf courses, golf resorts, hotels and other tourism suppliers from golf destinations throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Following the official welcome ceremony, there were opening addresses by civic dignitaries from Jakarta and IAGTO’s Chief Executive, Peter Walton.
Walton said: “There are 371 golf tour operators worldwide selling golf holidays to Asia and over half of these are in Jakarta to experience the city’s golf tourism product and to develop golf programmes to promote to golf travellers in all major markets worldwide.
“These golf tour operators, or ‘buyers’, have travelled from 34 countries and have already pre-scheduled more than 4,000 meetings.”
Of the 158 participating supplier companies, a record 38 were from Indonesia with 21 of these being golf courses, hotels and inbound tour operators from Jakarta and the Bogor Highlands.
Walton added: “The strength of the delegation from across Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Bintan Island, is a good indication of the importance of golf tourism to the country and is an important step on the road to doubling the value of golf tourism to Indonesia.
“There was enormous interest when Deputy Governor of Jakarta, Dr Sylviana Murni, announced that Jakarta was to host the event this year, and this anticipation has helped to grow the awareness of Jakarta’s great appeal as a golf destination.”
IAGTO said there has been a strong upturn in buyer attendance from China, with 35 golf tour operators attending this year’s AGTC, along with buyers from 34 other countries including Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and long-haul markets including the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, Russia and South Africa. In total almost 180 buyer delegates attended the event.
Purba Hutapea, Executive Director of Jakarta Tourism, said: “This week’s event is just one part of a long-term golf tourism strategy that we have already been developing and implementing already now for three years.
“In 2011, the value of golf tourism to Jakarta was calculated to be close to US$50 million and, just as importantly, there was an existing capacity to double this. Staging AGTC this year is part of this long-term strategy and an essential step in achieving this goal.
“Golf visitors spend, on average, 120% more per person per day and therefore represent a high-revenue, low-impact market which is exactly what we wish to attract.
“Currently only 44% of all golf tour operators selling golf holidays to Asia feature and promote Indonesia, so hosting AGTC is a tremendous opportunity for us to immediately increase the exposure of Jakarta as the greatest City Golf destination in Asia.”
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