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.

With the participation of 70 delegates from different countries, it was carried out a golf tournament, which its main purpose being allowing the players to check the Dominican Republic’s golf courses.

The tournament, that took place under the ‘Stroke Play’ mode in the categories A, B, and Female, lasted three days, the first of which was played in three different courses: “Iberostate Golf Course” in Iberostar Grand Punta Cana; then in “Dye Fore”, in Casa de Campo; and finally in “The Lakes” in Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.

The award ceremony took place in the restaurant “La Palapa” from Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe, where the winners from each of the three categories received a trophy.

Teddy de Lara, president of the host company TARGET Consultores de Mercadeo, emphasized during his speech the enthusiasm that both, international and Dominican delegates that participated in the event showed throughout the event.

Mr. De Lara said: “All the previous tournaments were successful, but in this occasion the enthusiasm was even greater due to the fact of being ‘Individual Stroke Play’ where players had to show more determination to win, although it always reigned a friendly atmosphere among the professionals from this industry.

“Without a doubt, the biggest winner in this tournament was the country, which has demonstrated its big potential regarding the golf facilities, such as courses and hotels, and that is the greatest result we can get”, the executive expressed.

DR Golf Travel Exchange 2016 was supported by the following organizations: Ministry of Tourism, Banreservas, Banco Popular, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, The Lakes, Barceló Hoteles, Casa de Campo, Dye Fore, Iberostar, Cool Haven, Vpar, Turaser, Stella Artois, IVI DMC, Hoteles Hodelpa and Puros de Hostos.

Golf tourism brings more than 200 mm per year to the dominican economy

The contribution to the Dominican economy from the golf tourism is estimated in over 200 million dollars a year, this projected figure is expected to increase for the upcoming 2016, according to a study by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, North America subsidiary (IAGTO North America).

In 2014 the growth of this market niche was 10% for an arrival in the country of more than 140,000 golfers who came to Dominican Republic exclusively to play golf, according to what this same study reveals.

These data were revealed by Teddy De Lara, director of the Dominican Republic Golf Travel Exchange 2015, during the specialized seminar that included this event entitled "The golf industry in the Dominican Republic," where lectured Richard Summers, president and CEO of PGA Magazine Publications and marketing Group; Claudio De Marchi, president of International Association of Golf Tour Operators, North America subsidiary (IAGTO North America); Carlos Elmúdesi, vice president of the Dominican Federation of Golf (Fedogolf) and Gilles Gagnon, Director of Golf at Casa de Campo.

In his speech, Richard Summers said that 30% of golfers spend over 76% of their dollars in golf, in addition to explaining about the prospects for the growth of golf tourism, stating that current trends of growth in the world they are positive.

For his part, Claudio De Marchi, executive IAGTO, an organization that sells more than 85% of vacation packages of golf in the world, said more than 75% of its members travel 4 times or more a year to play golf and 19% travel 3 or more and 75% play more than 25 rounds per year with an additional 22%, playing 10 to 24 rounds a year.

He said that Canada contributed a 15% of all arrivals to the Caribbean with an approximated visit of 630,000 golfers, has one of the highest rates of participation in golf of the world, a market that bought more than 1 million trips golf in 2014, spending more than 2.5 billion dollars in travels, which lasted in between 6 and 8 days.

De Marchi, after explaining several of the actions included in the first stage of the Integrated Tourism Golf which was signed with the Ministry of Tourism said that after North America (number one region in the world) the next place belongs to the Caribbean.