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SOUTH AFRICA TAKES CENTRE STAGE AT THIS YEARS IGTM


Sadiq Dindar (SA Tourism), Honourable Tokozile Xasa (Deputy Minister of Tourism – RSA), Thabiso Magodielo (SAGTA Chairman) and His Excellency Tebogo Seokolo (SA Ambassador to Turkey)

24th November 2011

South Africa was once again the talk of the show at this years International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) held in Belek, Turkey from the 15th – 18th November 2011. This thanks to the efforts and hard work throughout the year of the newly formed South African Golf Tourism Association (SAGTA), which was also introduced to the international golf tourism sector at IGTM.

Most notable was the strong commitment shown by South Africa to golf tourism with the visit of the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, who was accompanied by His Excellency, Tebogo Seokolo, South Africa’s Ambassador based in Turkey.

The Deputy Minister commented “We are here to support the South African Golf Tourism Association, which has just been established, building on the legacy of South Africa having hosted the best World Cup ever. We know the golf tourism potential for South Africa, with more than 400 golf courses, some of which are the best in the world. That is why we have taken the opportunity to be present here to support this industry initiative.”

The Deputy Minister visited each of the ten South African delegates exhibiting under the impressive and unified South African pavilion, before moving on to visit other countries’ stands.

Peter Walton, the Chief Executive of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), who has given full support to SAGTA this year, accompanied the Deputy Minister and gave insight into various countries golf tourism strategies and related return on investment statistics.

The Deputy Minister also handed over the prize of a fantastic seven day trip to South Africa, awarded at the well attended South African cocktail party. This was awarded to the winning “zebra” number held by Laurence Kaye, Golf Co-ordinator for Alternative Travel & Holidays based in the UK.

Another notable event placing South Africa clearly on the map was the presentation to thirty golf tour operators from around the world by Carl Reinders, Sales and Marketing Director from Fancourt and Council member of SAGTA. Reinders successfully showcased the unique golf products and other experiences such as safari, wine, culture, nature, beauty and business and why the slogan “Leave Ordinary Golf Behind” rings true.

The South African exhibitors made up of the key golf venues in South Africa and the key golf tour operators, held a total of 400 meetings over the three days with business generated from the traditional sectors such as Germany, Sweden and UK and new interest from countries such as Brazil, India, Kenya and China. In total there were 1200 attendees at IGTM including 450 exhibitors and 350 buyers.

South Africa also had the support of representatives from South African Tourism and South African Airways (SAA) during the show. SAA’s presence is a step in the right direction as it gave opportunity to the airline to understand consumers’ concerns about the high cost of travel to South Africa as a long haul destination.

South Africa also made their mark this year by wearing zebra pants during the show and South African flag pants at the final dinner, another strategy which certainly made them top of mind with buyers, suppliers, media and exhibitors!

SAGTA Chairman Thabiso Magodielo was extremely happy with the success of the show. “I would like to sincerely thank the Deputy Minster for making the trip to IGTM and the South African Ambassador to Turkey for welcoming and spending time with the SA delegation while in Turkey. I would also like to thank South African Tourism for recognizing SAGTA as the official golf tourism body in SA and lending their financial support to market golf destination South Africa. I also acknowledge the SAGTA Council members and GEMC who have worked around the clock to deliver the success of SAGTA over nine months. Last, but certainly not least, I wish to thank each of the sixty SAGTA members who have stepped in, to work together and attract golfers to South Africa!”
 


 
 
 
 

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