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Enticing American golf travellers

16th May 2024
With 45 million Americans playing golf, both on and off-course in 2023, the United States represents an attractive target market for global golf destinations. In his session during the 2024 European Tour Destinations Annual Conference, Vic Aliprando, Senior Vice President of the TPC Network, was joined by his colleague Alissa McCrandall, Senior Manager, TPC Passport, to present research on how best to target American golfers. “The US golf market is growing considerably each year. So, enticing golfers to travel further afield to experience courses, resorts and destinations in international locations is a substantial opportunity for venues across the Atlantic to take advantage of,” said Vic. “There’s also a further 22 million people who didn’t play golf in 2023, but said they would be interested. This latent demand, which has grown 45 per cent since 2019, suggests that the potential market is a sizeable figure.” The top-line of Vic and Alissa’s research, based on a survey of TPC Network venue members, suggests when golfers in the US are looking at travel options abroad, they’re primarily looking at venues offering the same quality that they are accustomed to on American soil.  Vic explained: “First and foremost, Americans want their travel to be easy. They want all elements of their booking – and the respective costs – to be included as part of their booking. So, things like airport transfers, golf bags, any additional ground transportation, etc. are within the travel itinerary. “And, when it comes to their hotel, they want spacious rooms, superior comfort, and, above all, first-class service. They’re looking for that VIP treatment as well when it comes to their booked activities.” The TPC Network’s research helped define three consumer profiles: 1. Golf Buddy Trips  “This group is likely to comprise low-handicap golfers, looking for a trip away with friends of a similar playing ability, seeking a destination with multiple courses in one area. “They want iconic golf courses or layouts with unique designs, by the sea, with exceptional vistas, anything ‘bucket-list’ worthy, they would be keen on. So, for ‘newer’ or emerging golf destinations, special packages could be a good way of attracting this group of golfer. “It is also important to get the ground transportation element right for these golfers. Having booked to play multiple courses, there is an expectation that transfers will be organised in advance – and already included in the price. “Finally, from an accommodation point of view, this type of golfer would opt for larger suites or even villas, which would allow them to increase the group size from maybe four to eight people.” 2. Golf as part of the trip experience  “For this consumer group, they’re more likely to consist of couples, whereby the trip is more about the experiences that you can enjoy at the destination, of which golf is one. “These travellers would be looking for a destination that offers unique cultural experiences, where sightseeing, local excursions and traditional activities are of primary importance. Delectable post-round culinary options are also a

How to utilise AI in golf real estate

16th May 2024
The advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) – a subset of AI focused on creating new content, designs and solutions – continues to make its mark across various sectors, delivering a range of tools to revolutionise businesses and to help deliver exceptional customer experiences. Sandra Ruttle, Real Estate and Business Consultant for European Tour Destinations, said: “According to recent research by McKinsey, real estate companies can gain more than 10 percent in net operating income through more efficient practices, stronger customer experience, new revenue streams and smarter asset selection, by adopting generative AI.” For Sandra, there are three key areas where golf destinations can maximise the potential of generative AI as they extend their marketing reach to include both new developments and resales: 1. Personalised Consumer Engagement Generative AI can empower golf resorts to create personalised communications tailored to prospective buyers. “Understanding the unique needs and desires of potential investors has always been crucial for our network venues,” said Sandra. “And this is an area where generative AI can prove invaluable. “By analysing vast amounts of available data, including demographics, consumer behaviour and market trends, generative AI can help curate communications for prospective buyers and resort clients, from personalised emails to bespoke responses to customer enquiries, complaints, or feedback.” The technology can also help craft creative property listings, consider key property features and customer preferences, and generate fresh ideas for social media marketing, blogs and newsletters. 2. Optimised Planning and Design In real estate development, efficient planning and design are imperative. As times passes, AI is playing a larger role in the design process by providing insights into optimal layouts and the most efficient infrastructure. Sandra explained: “Generative AI can be used as part of the architectural planning process to simulate various design scenarios and assess their feasibility, enabling developers to make informed decisions quickly. “According to JLL, the birth of the ‘real intelligent building’ is imminent, with AI-compliant infrastructure becoming a default, just as internet connections are a default feature of current buildings.” It is important to note that whilst generative AI can support the delivery of the architectural plans, the architect’s design skills are still very much needed to ensure the overall project, including the intangible aspects, such as the artistic and emotional elements, are included within the final product and acceptable to the client. 3. Predictive Analytics for Market Trends Generative AI can help golf destinations keep abreast of continually evolving market trends by using algorithms to leverage valuable predictive analytics. “Globally, there are over 500 companies providing AI-powered services to real estate, which are already delivering value in terms of improved efficiency and cost-savings,” outlined Sandra. “AI tools can quickly and accurately analyse data on real estate demand, market trends and customer preferences. Thus, enabling agents and developers to make more informed decisions, allocate resources more efficiently and help direct investments where they bring the best results. “The technology can also enable golf destinations to adjust pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, and resort planning in advance, allowing

Legends to make history at Costa Navarino

9th May 2024
The tournament is being financially supported, promoted and staged by the European Tour Group and is set to provide an incredible setting for the first Legends Tour event of the 2024 season to be played in continental Europe. Costa Navarino, located in Messinia in Greece’s southwest Peloponnese, is part of the European Tour Destinations network. It has raised its profile as a sustainably driven destination in the Mediterranean and offers a world-class golf experience on its four 18-hole signature golf courses. The Legends Tour event will be played over two of the destination’s courses – The Bay Course for round one on Friday June 7 and then the International Olympic Academy Golf Course for rounds two and three on Saturday June 8 and Sunday June 9. Ben Cowen, the European Tour Group’s Chief Tournament and Operations Officer, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this new tournament in Greece at two of our European Tour Destination courses, providing further playing and earning opportunities for our Legends Tour members. “The European Tour Group continues to work closely with Ryan Howsam and the Legends Tour team as part of our joint venture, providing record prize funds in 2024. Following the successful launch of the new season in Barbados last week, we wish our members well in the US Senior PGA Championship later this month, before this event in Greece which will showcase the stunning Costa Navarino destination to a global audience.” Phil Harrison, Legends Tour CEO, said: “Costa Navarino is an incredible destination and one which we are proud to add onto our schedule with the help of the European Tour Group. The golf courses will provide a great test for our players whilst offering some incredible views as well. “Many of our members are well aware of all that Costa Navarino has to offer, while for those that haven’t seen it before they can expect something very special, both on the golf courses and away from them too.” “Taking the Legends Tour to Greece further extends our spread across Europe and beyond as a Tour with a global reach. We could not be more excited about this addition to the calendar and our thanks go to the European Tour Group for their financial and staging support which has made this tournament possible.” David Ashington, General Manager at Costa Navarino Golf, said: “It is a great thrill and honour for Costa Navarino to have the opportunity to become the first venue in Greece to host a major professional golf tournament in 23 years. “With four signature golf courses combined with four five-star hotels and an extensive array of additional sports and lifestyle facilities as well as authentic, year-round experiences, we can’t wait to showcase everything that we have to offer to the players, their families and tournament guests and a wider global audience.” Guests can choose among the destination’s five-star resorts for their stay: The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, W Costa Navarino, Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino and The Westin Resort Costa Navarino. The

Monthly Blog – April

30th April 2024
Constance Lemuria, Seychelles and Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius As island resorts in the Indian Ocean, Constance Hotels & Resorts has a dedicated Sustainability Manager who is supporting many of the sustainable initiatives at each resort including replacing single-use plastics in favour of refillable drinking water bottles. Some of the other initiatives at the Constance Hotels & Resorts include: encouraging and supporting clean up of the marine and costal environments, coral planting, organic fertilisers and local produce to each resort. Camiral Golf & Wellness, Spain Both Camiral’s Wellness Centre and Hotel Camiral have reduced their energy consumption by 50% with an on-site power station and solar panels that help cut more than 362 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Recycled water that is treated and purified is used to irrigate both golf courses and green areas around the resort. Camiral’s zero-kilometre food movement – grows natural produce on-site to use within its restaurants, sell as its shops and harvest by its residents. Costa Navarino, Greece At the heart of Costa Navarino strategies lies a strong commitment to sustainability with 90% of the estate’s total land area has been dedicated to planted and natural greenery, which includes the replanting of more than 7,000 olive trees, 9,900 new indigenous trees, and more than 1,089,00 endemic shrubs of different species. Since 2020, Costa Navarino has partnered with WWF Greece with the aim to reduce single-use plastics across the resort and its operations. Arabella Golf Resort Mallorca, Spain The courses are Arabella Golf Resort Malloca are a prime example of how to preserve the natural environment, plants and wildlife present at each golf course, demonstrated through their multiple sustainable actions. The resort also uses recycled water for irrigation, replaced single use plastic bottles with water fountains, implemented solar panels to help generate clubhouse electricity, use of hybrid machinery, use of organic phytosanitary products, and opening a vegetable garden who produce is used across their restaurants. Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, France Terre Blanche has developed a natural sanctuary of 300 hectares where wildlife, flora and fauna can prosper. They have set up a programme to reintroduce endemic species such as swans, geese, koi carp, and black bass. At the heart of the resort Terre Blanche have built an aromatic vegetable garden, which offers around 15 aromatic plants used by the resort’s chefs.

China returns to the DP World Tour schedule with the 2024 Volvo China Open at Hidden Grace Golf Club

29th April 2024
Formerly known as Genzon Golf Club, the European Tour Destinations member venue has a long-history of tournament experience, having first hosted this event in 2014. Find out more about this and Hidden Grace Golf Club, as General Manager Ali Kong explains the importance of hosting professional tournaments, what fans can expect from the event and the opening of China’s first golf museum. To keep up-to-date on the Volvo China Open, head to the tournament’s page on the DP World Tour website.

Costa Navarino enhances sports offering with more experiences than ever

22nd April 2024
Costa Navarino, the sustainably driven destination in Greece’s southwest Peloponnese, is celebrating the Olympic Games 2024 with landmark events and enhances its sports offering, with a new summer camp and the return of the NBA Basketball School. On April 17, Costa Navarino proudly welcomed the Olympic Flame at the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course, as part of the flame’s journey from Greece to Paris. It is the first golf course in the Mediterranean to ever host the Olympic symbol. The 18-hole signature golf course symbolises the links between golf and Olympism, as it is the nearest golf development to Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. The naming of course also reflects the International Olympic Academy, Hellenic Olympic Committee and Costa Navarino’s shared values of sustainability, personal welfare, education, and growth. Two young athletes from the Navarino Junior Golf Academy acted as torchbearers. To celebrate the spirit of the Olympics, Costa Navarino will introduce a new five-day sports camp for children and teenagers aged six to 15, from July 15 to August 16. The camp will give them the chance to try their hand at ten different sports which feature in the Olympic Games. The aspiring athletes will receive expert coaching in golf, tennis, basketball, football, archery, climbing, beach volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and water polo. The basketball and football sessions will be led by coaches from the NBA Basketball School and Bayern FC respectively, while qualified coaches will oversee the other sports. Sports enthusiasts can further develop their skills at the NBA Basketball School which returns at Costa Navarino for its second year of operation, with an engaging program for players of all ages. The NBA Basketball School will run from May 27 to September 15. Young players from six to 18 years old will live the NBA experience in three to seven-day camp programmes, while adults can participate in daily one-hour activities. All participants will receive an NBA branded T-shirt upon registration, and participants who attend the full programme (six or seven days) will receive an NBA Basketball School certificate and NBA gift. For the period from June 30 to August 17, participants will have the exclusive opportunity to train with the NBA veteran and first-round draft pick, Michael Bradley, who will join as full-time camp director. Whilst children are training, adults can also participate in a range of sports including tennis, padel and pickleball at the Mouratoglou Tennis Center, wakeboard, SUP yoga, kitesurfing, sailing and diving in clear blue water, as well as enjoy the Messinian lush nature through hiking, cycling, climbing. Costa Navarino is a 45 minute-drive from Kalamata International Airport. Easyjet flies direct to Kalamata from London Gatwick three times a week from April to November. British Airways has four direct flights a week from London Heathrow between May and October. Jet2 has twice-weekly direct flights from Birmingham, London Stansted and Manchester from May to November, while Ryanair flies weekly from London Stansted between June and September.
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