The statements were made during the fourth edition of the DR Golf 2017, an event that takes place at Secrets Cap Cana.

James J. Keegan, renowned golf writer and US strategist, considered that in order for the Dominican Republic to attract more tourists and advance in terms of golf tourism, it must implement a culture related to this sport, which would allow the country to obtain higher income for the tourism industry.

Keegan pointed out that the 250 thousand rounds of golf that are played per year in the nation could rise to 440 thousand generating revenues of 4.4 million dollars per field.

This information was offered by Keegan in the development of the specialized seminar that included the Dominican Republic Golf Travel Exchange 2017, which evaluated the great strengths of Dominican golf tourism.

However, the expert considered that there are two aspects that the country should take into account to attract Premium tourists (those who play golf and seek luxury): the easy reservation in hotels and the incentive to tour operators.

"You also have to evaluate the design, the environment and the conditioning of the gaming areas taking into account some steps for success, such as climate, financial metrics, technology and facilities in terms of architecture, work and tools", Keegan added. In this event, Kelly Fulford, Business Director of GolfNow, also spoke, and indicated that the Dominican Republic can expand its golf tourism by taking advantage of its extensive database and market reach.

He said that of the 30 fields that the country has none is taking advantage of that offer. He also indicated that GolfNow has nine thousand golf courses around the world and 3.5 million golfers registered on its website.

For his part, Luis Núñez, regional and commercial director for AMResorts, said that the brand recognizes the extraordinary destiny of the Dominican Republic and its incredible golf courses, and that, for this reason, they have become the largest by rooms in the country with over 6 thousand, which generates seven thousand direct jobs.

"Our housing capacity generates 750 thousand tourists per year and this shows a good relationship with this destination in the level of service," said Núñez.

The executive said that AMResorts owns six properties on Dominican land, one in Puerto Plata and the other five in Bayahíbe, La Romana and Punta Cana and that thanks to the support of tour operators they have become leaders in bringing tourists from the United States and Canada, thanks to the partnership with tour operators.

The agenda of the DR Golf Travel Exchange also includes a workshop, which is a business meeting between travel agents, international tour operators, Dominican hoteliers, managers of golf courses and receptive operators.

It also includes a two-round golf tournament, the first in "Diente de Perro" (Casa de Campo) and the final in "Punta Espada" (Cap Cana), where players can appreciate the quality of the Dominican golf courses, as well as other complementary activities of knowledge of our country.

The sports competition consisted of two rounds of golf that were played in the individual modality in three categories: A, B and Feminine.

With a massive participation of golfers from different nations, there was a magnificent golf tournament that was part of the Dominican Republic Golf Travel Exchange 2017, whose purpose is to continue consolidating the Dominican Republic as the best and only golf tourism scenario in the Caribbean.

The sports competition that was played in the individual modality in three categories A, B and Feminine, lasted two days, where the first round was held in "Diente de Perro” in Casa de Campo and the final in Punta Espada in Cap Cana.

The winner of the first place in category A was Joe Cerino with 80 points and Jeremy Hall with 70 points in second place, in category B, James Keegan scored 59 points and John Ledesma 59 points as well. In contrast, in the Feminine category, Inger Thorp, achieved 59 points and Kalila Mieres 57 points.

Teddy de Lara, executive director of TARGET Consultores de Mercadeo, organizing company of the Dominican Republic Golf Travel Exchange, during his speech at the event highlighted the extraordinary level of play of golfers in the tournament, while he expressed his gratitude for the commitment put in the joust.

"For us it is important to celebrate this golf tournament and have the opportunity to provide our players and related a space of coexistence and healthy enjoyment in two of the most attractive golf courses in the country, as the true purpose of this Meeting is to show our players and the world why the Dominican Republic holds the title of Best Golf Destination in the Caribbean," said De Lara.

During the development of the tournament both players and representatives of the international press did not stop showing their satisfaction to see the magnificent designs in each of the fields, in addition to the optimal conditions in which they are.

At the end of the competition, an award ceremony was held in the area of the beach of Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa, where recognition plates were given to the winners of the tournament.

The Diente de Perro or "Teeth of the Dog" is one of the best golf courses in the world, it has 18 holes and is a masterpiece by Pete Dye, and Punta Espada, a design by Jack Nicklaus, is cataloged as "unique and spectacular" considering that eight of its 18 holes are facing the sea.

The President of the North American subdivision of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO-North America), Mr. Claudio DeMarchi, considered Dominican Republic as an appealing golf destination and recommended to strengthen the Marketing strategies with North America and Europe to keep attracting golfers from these parts of the world.

The executive from IAGTO, an organization that sells more than 85% of the world’s golf packages, said that the two main sources to promote the country to that specific market niche are through The Golf Channel and the various magazines that specialize in golf, specifying that the 80% of golfers are over 50 years-old and that 80% of the players are men from North America.

These were expressed by DeMarchi during a specialized seminar that included the Dominican Republic Golf Travel Exchange 2016, titled: “The golf tourism in Dominican Republic and global marketing strategies”, in which such strategies were assessed and different strategies were suggested.

This event also included lectures from Russell Kirk, a photographer and videographer who specializes in golf, with a conference titled “Winning/succeeding in the art of photographing golf courses and playing the game of drones”, and Theresa McCann, Director of Strategic Alliances from the NBC Sports Group and The Golf Channel, who gave a presentation on the subject of “A multimedia strategy for reaching customers with more influential and acquisitive power”.

In his speech, Russell Kirk emphasized the significance of the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, saying that good pictures of a golf course are key for getting golfers make a decision, also indicating “mediocre pictures do not attract people”.

On the other side, Theresa McCann said that Dominican Republic has the formula for success regarding the development of golf, because there are four regions in the country where players can go and live new experiences.

She emphasized that the golfer is a big consumer of complementary offers, such as tasty gastronomy, living different cultural experiences, good cigars, among others.

The executive from The Golf Channel, when speaking of multimedia strategies, said that 26% of consumers from this channel are millennials, being the segment that will represent the future of golf.

The 3rd edition of DR Golf attracted the participation of 97 delegates representing 37 tour operators and agencies as well as 34 international media, showing a 20% in total attendance in relation with 2015 2nd edition.

The countries that attended for the first time were Australia, Mexico, and the Arab Emirates. These countries joined returning countries that have participated on previous editions, which includes: United States, Canada,Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, and the Czech Republic.

This event contained a workshop, a business meeting where participants reached significant agreements among themselves, and local agencies and suppliers. Likewise, it included a golf tournament that lasted three days, celebated in Iberostate Golf courses from Iberostar Grand Punta Cana, Bávaro; in Dye Fore in Casa de Campo Resort, La Romana; and in The Lakes from Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.