Christchurch, New Zealand: New Zealand is aiming to capitalise on its status as an award-winning golf destination to lure more overseas golfers to experience its courses.
Tourism New Zealand’s golf tourism initiatives have been ratcheted up since the country was named 2018 Golf Destination of the Year for the Asia Pacific region in global golf tourism organisation IAGTO’s 18th annual golf tourism awards.
A total of 38 of New Zealand’s leading golf courses have joined IAGTO as part of a collaborative partnership to accelerate the appeal of New Zealand as an international golfing destination.
The courses fall into two categories: Marquee Courses, comprising 14 of the country’s most iconic names, including world top 50 Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, Kauri Cliffs Golf Course and the dramatic Alpine-set Jacks Point Golf Course plus Experience Courses, numbering 24, that have been selected for delivering something special and uniquely New Zealand to the visiting golf traveller.
With the support of IAGTO, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) will be expanding its golf tourism activities over the coming three years, starting with its largest delegation at the seventh Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC), taking place in Manila from April 22-25, where TNZ will also be an International Sponsor.
Participants already include the Royal Wellington Golf Club, Otago Golf Club, The Kinloch Club, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, Terrace Downs Resort, PaR nz Golfing Holidays, Premium Golf New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.
Between 2018 and 2020, TNZ will also showcase its golf product at the International Golf Travel Market and IAGTO’s North America Golf Tourism Convention (NAC), this year being held in Central Oregon, from June 24-27.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “When all ‘export ready’ or tourism-friendly golf courses in a destination work together, they make a much greater impact on the golf travel industry, and this is exactly what has happened in New Zealand, led by a very proactive national tourist board.
“This, in turn, acts as essential guidance for international golf tour operators keen to feature, promote and sell this extraordinary golf destination to their golf travelling customers.”
Stephen England-Hall, TNZ’s Chief Executive, said: “Golf tourism to New Zealand is showing significant growth with a year-on-year increase of 18% in rounds played by international visitors for year ending April 2017.
“New Zealand has around 400 golf courses and offers incredible variety, from oceanfront sub-tropical courses in the north to Alpine settings in the south. Golfers can easily travel to a range of courses while in New Zealand sampling what each region has to offer on their way and this is a huge drawcard.
“Our partnership with IAGTO will showcase New Zealand’s golf offering on the world stage reaching millions of golfers in all markets around the world.”
As part of this project, IAGTO will establish a New Zealand Chapter and a New Zealand Operators Club for its member golf tour operators that promote New Zealand as a golf destination.