Expert insights on customer-centric strategies, successful partnerships and trends in luxury high on European Tour Destinations’ agenda

By Emily Kay 2 weeks ago

Industry leaders shared insights on fostering partnerships, developing customer-centric strategies and adapting to a shifting customer landscape at the 2024 European Tour Destinations Annual Conference.

The network’s world class venues gathered in northern France at the historic Le Touquet Golf Resort, a member venue since 2022 and home to France’s No.1 links course, to learn and share best practice over two days of presentations, discussions and networking.

Headline speaker Farhad Heydari, multinational consultant and Founder of House of Heydari, shared valuable insights on the luxury landscape, how to target new customer segments, including millennials, and meeting customer needs.

Experts from the European Tour Group, including Hardy Cubasch, Director of Partnerships, Consumer and Commercial Operations, and Edward Peters, Director of Content, Digital and Business Development, discussed with delegates the importance of establishing and maintaining key commercial partnerships, and outlined recent trends in social content.

Paris 2024 Golf Sport Manager, Paul Armitage, presented on the power of the Olympic movement and how golf destinations can benefit from the sport’s increased participation in the summer games, which, this year, will be held at Le Golf National, another European Tour Destinations member venue.

Gary Firkins, Founder of LANDMARK, provided a detailed summation of a recent report by Syngenta Golf and IPSOS – Golf and Social Media: The Great Divide – and the key learnings venues can take to support their business growth from the analysis of 16.1 million social media mentions of golf.

As part of the strategic alliance with the TPC Network, Vic Aliprando, Senior Vice President, and TPC Passport Senior Manager, Alissa McCrandall, shared insights into how European Tour Destinations member venues can entice an increasingly important target market: the travelling American golfer.

Industry experts gathered at Le Touquet Golf Resort, in France, for the 2024 European Tour Destinations Annual Conference

Esa Honkalehto, CEO at Linna Golf, described this year’s event as the ‘best-ever’ in his seven-year involvement with the network, commenting: “Every year, there will be pearls of wisdom that we can gain from the Annual Conference, but this event provided several elements that we can take home with us and put into practice straight away.”

First-time attendee Phil Helsby, Managing Director at The Dutch, said: “The diversity of the speakers was impressive and the subjects they discussed had significant relevance to our private club destination, especially on social media and how you can engage with your target audiences.

“Additionally, the contact that we gained from being with other fellow network destinations has been particularly valuable for us.”

Head of European Tour Destinations, Ian Knox added: “Providing opportunities for members to learn, share best practice and meet with industry experts at our Annual Conference is a vital part of our network.

“This year’s event speakers gave valuable insights and shared expert opinion on pertinent topics that specifically impact tactical and operational components at our world class destinations, while the input from senior leaders at the DP World Tour and the TPC Network, showcased the close ties between both organisations, and further demonstrated the wider benefits of being part of the European Tour Destinations network.”

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