New Zealand has been named top golf destination in the Asia Pacific region by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators for the second time.
The award is given to the country that has delivered a great experience for golf travellers and is voted on by golf tour operators across the globe.
With close to 400 courses, New Zealand is second only to Scotland for the most golf courses per-capita in the world and offers a wide range of experiences for any level of player. Golfers can take on a fantastic mix of world class championship courses and play small country courses run by local volunteers. New Zealand’s golf courses offer incredible variety in scenery, from ocean front subtropical courses in the north to alpine settings in the south.
“This is a great result and fantastic recognition of the work the industry and Tourism New Zealand have done to showcase the country’s world class golf offering,” says Tourism Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall.
“An award like this gives New Zealand incredible international exposure as a must visit golfing destination.”
Peter Walton, IAGTO Chief Executive says "New Zealand's transition from a 'hidden gem' to a much sought after golf destination is the combined work of the private and public sectors, which have pooled their resources and experience to position New Zealand to attract ever-larger numbers of high-spending golf visitors.
The proof is in the numbers, with golf tourism to New Zealand rising rapidly over the past couple of years, as more and more golfers seek the spectacular and unique."
New Zealand hosted three international golf events in 2017, the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship and the first ever LPGA sanctioned event the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open.
International golfers deliver millions to New Zealand’s economy each year, staying significantly longer and spending more than the average visitor.
The IAGTO Awards
The IAGTO Awards, held annually by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators since 2000, showcase the best golf destinations and resorts as voted for by the world’s golf tour operators and golf travel writers. The award was announced at the International Golf Travel Market in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France, in front of an audience of 1300 international golf tourism delegates. IAGTO is the global trade organisation for the golf tourism industry, comprising over 2220 accredited golf tour operators, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, receptive operators, airlines, tourist boards, approved media and business partners in 98 countries. IAGTO operators control over 85% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and their combined annual turnover exceeded €1.5 billion last year.