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Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa and Golf Club St. Leon-Rot renew with European Tour Destinations

2nd March 2020
Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa and Golf Club St. Leon-Rot have renewed their membership with European Tour Destinations. Finca Cortesin joined the network in 2017 while Golf Club St Leon-Rot became part of the network in 2012. Both will continue to benefit from the expertise across the venue portfolio and the association with the European Tour. Set on a 215-hectare estate and surrounded by undisturbed nature, Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa is located in one of the most tranquil and sought-after enclaves of the Andalucían coast, not far from the picturesque village of Casares and less than a mile from the beach. The award-winning resort, recently voted number one in the Condé Nast Traveler 2019 Readers´ Choice Awards for the Best Hotel in Spain & Portugal, includes four fantastic restaurants, a beach club and an exclusive collection of villas, available for purchase or rental. Located just 50 minutes from Málaga Airport and 20 minutes from Gibraltar International Airport, Finca Cortesin is globally renowned for providing one of Europe’s most unforgettable golf experiences. Rated by many, including the prestigious Golf Digest magazine, among Spain’s best golf courses, the natural Mediterranean landscape and environment on the resort’s world-class 18-hole Championship course harmonise to create a most attractive design, while the excellent weather enjoyed all year round provides the perfect setting for playing golf. Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa hosted the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012 with Ross Fisher, Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts taking home the trophies in each respective year. Golf Club St Leon-Rot, a stunning 45-hole venue situated near the scenic town of Heidelberg in the heart of Germany, opened in 1997 and has continued to develop its facilities, both on and off the course since its inception. The venue is prominent in the world of Junior Golf, putting much emphasis on the development of young players, demonstrated by being the host venue of the Junior Solheim Cup, alongside the 2015 Solheim Cup. Two award-winning Championship courses, St. Leon and Rot, featuring varied characteristics and extraordinary holes, are complemented by a nine-hole Executive course and a five-hole children’s course,  as well as the German Golf Federation’s National Training Centre, a purpose-built indoor practice arena. The Allianz Golf Arena, set out on two levels, features 1,700 sqm of practice greens and aprons, and provides ideal conditions for training short game and a strongly undulating green allows for any variation of putting training. The Deutsche Bank – SAP Open TPC of Europe took place at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004 with Tiger Woods victorious in three of the four tournaments (1999, 2001, 2002). Ian Knox, Head of Operations at European Tour Destinations, said: “It has been a busy start to 2020, with the addition of Golf Son Muntaner in Mallorca to the network, and we are delighted that two of our established venues, Finca Cortesin and Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, are continuing their partnership with us. Both venues have a history of hosting some

Building a Network of World Class Experiences

17th February 2020
90 days into his role as Co-Head of European Tour Destinations, Stuart Gillett takes a step back to reflect on his first three months – the people he has met, the venues he has visited, and the opportunities he sees for the future of this network of world class destinations. Tell us about your first 90 days: what have you learned, who have you met, what has inspired you? It’s been a great first three months in the new role. Getting to know the team here at the Tour, having the opportunity to travel and meet the talented people from many of our world class destinations – it’s been an exciting journey so far. One thing that has really struck me is the sheer variety of venues that are part of this network, and the range of experiences they offer. It’s both a thrill and a challenge to be able to understand and support all these different operations. What has really inspired me, though, is how passionate everyone is about the game of golf. It’s wonderful to be part of a group that is driven by growing the sport, as well as delivering the most exceptional golf experience at every single venue. What do you believe is the most powerful benefit of being part of a network like this? There is so much the network can do for its members, from training opportunities informed by our Mystery Shopper programme, to fostering valuable relationships with Tour Operators through our exclusive events, to providing expert advice and sharing best practice amongst our venues. The list goes on. However, what really makes European Tour Destinations unique is all in the name – it’s that relationship with The European Tour. The standard of quality the brand represents, its global reach, and the opportunity to host tournaments – it’s such a compelling offering and one we are keen to develop even further. What opportunities do you see for the network going forward? The team here works incredibly hard to add value to each of our member venues, and there are plenty of opportunities for us to build on that. One great example is our new Travel Hub website, which gives us a mechanism to help drive direct sales to our Destinations, just two clicks away from the European Tour homepage. I think there is plenty of scope for the network to grow too. The European Tour continues to expand its reach to new regions and territories, and this will open up opportunities for venues in these regions to become part of the network. We have already witnessed the direct commercial impact from a robust network of venues too. As well as sharing ideas and knowledge, venues are collaborating in a number of ways, such as arranging trips for groups of members to go and play other Destinations. This not only adds value to the experience they offer to members, it also paves the way for more commercial collaborations, such as joint golf travel packages and

How To Elevate a Resort’s Family Appeal

17th February 2020
What ingredients does a world class venue need to offer a compelling proposition to families? CEO of Dubai Golf, Chris May, outlines his masterplan to bring more families to its three resorts.

Golf’s Mobile Booking Revolution

17th February 2020
Consumer confidence in online travel booking has been surging over the past decade, and over 80% of all travel bookings now happen online. In the last few years this number has stabilised, but underlying trends in the way customers book are still on the move – and this is influencing how destinations are marketed and sold. Mobile booking is just one of these areas. Where in the past people tended to browse destinations on their device but book via desktop, increasingly, confidence in booking via mobile device is on the rise. This is illustrated by recent figures from the UK suggesting 45% of UK travellers feel comfortable researching, planning and booking trips to new destinations using only their mobile. This means destination and tour operator websites need to be equipped with a mobile site capable of wowing and converting customers – not just the former. One-stop-shop Another key development is the advent of ‘one-stop-shop’ websites. These websites allow customers to book any or all aspects of their trip in one place – from flights to accommodation to tee times. Why? An increased desire to customise trips in a quick, easy and efficient way. In effect, these sites are taking on the role of what might previously have been a travel agent, with instant results and the ability to book there and then. In fact, one-stop-shop websites already own 41% of the online digital market – a number which continues to rise. What does this mean for resorts looking to boost direct business? It means not simply offering accommodation or golf only. Resorts need to think about further experiences and options which will inspire prospective customers, allowing them to visualise and piece together their perfect golf trip, all in one place. A new solution To support its venues’ business growth, leverage the trust and recognition shown in the European Tour brand and capitalise on the consumer booking trends, European Tour Destinations recently launched its Travel Hub. The Travel Hub is a fully responsive website, providing users with the ability to access it on all devices including mobile, tablet, and desktop. The platform allows golf travel customers to book their next trip at one of the network’s 30 world class destinations. “Customisation is key,” explains Jonathan Griffiths, Managing Director of Sportech Solutions, developers of the Travel Hub. “Golfers want flexibility, options and the opportunity to piece together their ideal golfing getaway on an easy-to-use platform that allows them to book there and then.” As the online market continues to evolve and grow, the Travel Hub platform will also benefit from continuous development and updates, positioning itself and the network’s venues to better adapt to future changes in booking trends. 2020 vision What to expect from the online golf travel market this year? More mobile, more customisation, more flexibility. That’s what golf travel customers want. It’s now down to resorts, tour operators, and indeed our very own Travel Hub, to deliver it. Data sources: Statista; Travel Weekly; Trekk Soft

Real Estate: What to expect in 2020

17th February 2020
Cliché though it may be, a new year usually brings with it the sense of a fresh start. As we enter a new decade in 2020, this feeling is even more heightened. We sat down with David Lindley, Fine & Country CEO, to discover what are the most pertinent trends in the property sector we should be watching out for. What are investors looking for in 2020?    Today’s real estate investors are looking for properties in natural settings with fantastic scenery. Unobstructed views top the list of requirements and properties that offer such vistas are highly sought after. This doesn’t mean however that buyers want to live in seclusion. Real estate in master-planned communities is continuing to gain momentum. Today’s buyers are still placing high emphasis on recreation and socialising, so the availability of amenities within easy reach is extremely important. From a financial point of view, however, we have found at Fine & Country that buyers are after strong yields. In 2020, investors are positive about the effects of the ongoing low interest rates, with banks revealing they are likely to stay at this level or be cut even further. So, property investment is still seen as a positive area in which to place capital, even with ongoing political and economic uncertainty in the UK and parts of Europe. What should resorts do to attract today’s property buyers? Firstly, as I said, the lifestyle aspects of a property have never played a more central role in people’s decision to invest. Venues need to deliver the amenities and services today’s customers are seeking. Looking across the European Tour Destinations network, there are good examples of how venues are expanding their product offering and introducing new services, some of which are highly personalised. For example, at Terre Blanche in France you can have a personal chef, while a number of resorts now offer personal trainers services. PGA Catalunya Resort has its own vineyard, Finca Cortesin in Spain has a beach club and spa, while Quinta do Lago has new cycling amenities. So increasingly it’s not only about the product – the design and interior of the property – but the experience that comes with being a visitor and then a resident of the resort. Secondly, I would encourage all sellers to know who their target customers are. Creating clear profiles of what a typical customer is will allow you to focus and help direct your efforts, time and money on what, or in this case who, should bear the best results. What does today’s resort property buyer look like? Well, that depends on your offering. Venues need to be aware of the changing buyer demographics and their different lifestyle choices. Baby boomers for example tend to prefer the larger, more elaborate houses (if they are not downsizing), while Millennials (born between 1983 and 1994) put more emphasis on health, wellness and experiences. Generation X, on the other hand, are the most likely to have kids living at home, so family amenities

Quinta do Lago Celebrates Real Estate Success

17th February 2020
With Newest Development Now Fully Sold Off-Plan & Show Villa Sold within Just Four Months of Completion. Quinta do Lago, the exclusive residential resort situated in the Algarve, is proud to announce two huge real estate successes this month. Reserva, Quinta’s newest development of 26 unique garden and penthouse apartments, has now been fully sold ahead of its completion later this year. The resort has seen record breaking interest in the development from a wider range of nationalities than ever before including, Nigerian, Dutch and Russian, as well as a much younger demographic. Similarly, Quinta is proud to announce that recently completed show home, The Lorenzo Villa which is situated in the San Lorenzo North development has also just sold for 7.2M EUR, just four months after completion. Reserva With an unrivalled location overlooking the Ria Formosa, Reserva is Quinta do Lago’s most highly anticipated real estate offering to date since it began construction in xxx. As a unique offering, the success of sales has been astounding with all apartments selling off-plan at an average of 2.7M EUR, and with an extensive waiting list for resales already accumulated. A resort previously considered a hotspot for over-65s, the demographic of buyers has been more versatile than initially predicted, with the youngest buyer in their mid-20s and the average age of buyers ranging from 40-50. Nationalities include English, Irish and Portuguese but also Dutch, Russian and Nigerian – both families and couples. Sean Moriarty, Chief Executive Officer at Quinta do Lago, comments: “We have been absolutely delighted by the success of Reserva since we first launched our apartments of- plan back in xxx.  The development is truly very special and provides our buyers the chance to enjoy the Ria Formosa, beautiful design and 5-star amenities and services. It is fantastic to see the demographic of our buyers transforming and we are already predicting an extremely high rental performance too, particularly in new markets such as long term winter rentals and long weekends. We look forward to the completion of Reserva, which is scheduled to take place later this year, and to welcoming our brand new buyers into their luxury homes.” Boasting 26 luxury apartments, divided into garden-facing residences with spacious lawns and stunning penthouses with panoramic roof terraces, each unit features its own private swimming pools,as well as lakeside and seaside views. The lateral living, low rise development spreads into a D-shape west-facing building and boasts a modernist design of glass and natural stone surrounded by vibrant green spaces. All of Reserva’s 26 lucky buyers will benefit from 24-hour concierge service and underground parking. They will also have exclusive access to the private Residents’ Club, situated in the heart of the development and boasting a 25-metre pool, gym, treatment rooms, tennis and padel courts, a members’ lounge, events space, children’s play area and brand new restaurant and bar. The Lorenzo Villa, San Lorenzo North The Lorenzo Villa completed in May this year, designed to showcase the exceptional location of all 26 virgin plots in the

Golf Son Muntaner becomes latest European Tour Destination

20th January 2020
European Tour Destinations is delighted to welcome Golf Son Muntaner, a member of Arabella Golf, to its network of world class venues. The Mallorcan venue becomes the third Spanish destination to join the network, alongside Finca Cortesin in Málaga and PGA Catalunya Resort, in Girona. Golf Son Muntaner, designed by Kurt Rossknecht, opened in 2000 and is ideally situated near the capital city of Palma. Golf Son Muntaner is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses on the island, surrounded by a variety of Mediterranean flora and fauna, it also boasts the oldest olive tree ‘Na Capitana’ on Mallorca which features on the club’s logo.  In 2016, Golf Son Muntaner completely reseeded the golf course; Bermuda Celebration was sown on every fairway and Agrostis V8 on every green. The project not only enhanced the course, but it demonstrated their commitment to environmental change, will less water and chemical usage. Alongside their golf course, Golf Son Muntaner have the largest putting green in Mallorca, an illuminated driving range and the Arabella Golf Academy, which is available to adults and children alike. Restaurant Son Muntaner concludes their portfolio of services and is the perfect location to relax after playing the course. Bernat Llobera, Director of Golf at Golf Son Muntaner, said: “We are extremely pleased to have joined European Tour Destinations, and are looking forward to taking advantage of their expertise as we work to meet our objectives.  To be part of the global network of world class clubs is something we are proud of and very much look forward to being part of the European Tour family.” Ian Knox, Head of Operations for European Tour Destinations, said: “We are extremely proud that Golf Son Muntaner has become the latest addition to our portfolio of world class venues.  Mallorca is a key golfing market and we are delighted to be able to add another venue with a great reputation in a great location, with the opportunity to host tournament golf in the future”

European Tour Destinations to drive business to network with all new Travel Hub

15th January 2020
European Tour Destinations, a growing network of world class venues, has launched a dedicated platform to drive new business exclusively to members of its network. The European Tour Destinations Travel Hub will allow consumers to select from one of the network’s 30 world class venues and organise all aspects of their trip, from tee times to flights, all via the dedicated portal which they can easily access from europeantourdestinations.com Explaining the reasons behind the Travel Hub, recently appointed Co-head of European Tour Destinations, Stuart Gillett, commented: “Consumer research has indicated a great deal of trust and recognition in the European Tour brand, and as this continues to grow, so does the opportunity for destinations within our network to benefit commercially. “We recognise the golf travel market is increasingly competitive, and as a network it is imperative that we take every opportunity to showcase our venues and drive new business in their direction. “The Travel Hub provides an exciting new platform to do just that – one which takes full advantage of the strength of the European Tour brand, as well as the powerful association with many of the world’s finest golf destinations.” The Travel Hub will bolster and complement the destinations’ existing direct sales channels as well as business generated through tour operators. Monica Martinez, Head of Golf Sales at PGA Catalunya Resort, commented: “The introduction of the Travel Hub is extremely encouraging as we look into 2020. Our resort continues to grow its sales footprint globally, and this new venture will work hand in hand with our direct sales activity. “What’s particularly appealing is the prospect of opening up a new market of European Tour fans we can welcome to the resort both next year and beyond, delivering tournament standard golf and a truly world class experience.” European Tour Destinations Travel Hub launches today and will showcase its network of 30 world class destinations covering 19 countries and 3 continents.
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