The world-class holiday region of the Algarve has scooped the prestigious title of International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) European Golf Destination of the Year 2013 - the pinnacle of golf tourism awards.
The award was announced at the IAGTO Awards gala dinner, at Tarragona, Costa Daurada, last night , to correspond with the final day of the renowned International Golf Travel Market.
With six courses in the recently released prestigious Golf World Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe, the Algarve continues to provide a heady mix of world-class layouts and value for money - a blend which was, no doubt, in the minds of more than 500 golf tour operators who voted in the awards.
Desidério Silva, president of the Algarve Tourism Association, said: “I’m very proud to accept this award which is for everybody working within the golf tourism industry in the Algarve. At a time when people have to keep a tighter rein on their finances than at any time in living memory, the fact we can still attract golfers in the number we have speaks eloquently for the product and the people who deliver it.
“We are fortunate that, in the Algarve, we have some of the very best golf courses in Europe, some outstanding sun-soaked coastline and numerous excellent hotels and resorts of all sizes – but even if all the ingredients are present it still needs highly trained and hard-working people to serve it up correctly and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.
“And that’s what the people who work in the Algarve have done, not just this year, but in previous years and in many years to come.
“We should also show our appreciation to the tour operators who work so hard to bring people to the region and thank them for their faith in the Algarve. I thank them all for their marvellous effort and everybody for their votes and their support.
“We hope to welcome you to our wonderful region again very soon.”
It is yet another award for the world-class golf product available on the Algarve, which can lay claim to almost 40 courses within its boundaries. This year also witnessed a dramatic Portugal Masters victory for England’s David Lynn at Oceânico Victoria, on the European Tour, and the 50th anniversary of the ever-popular Vale do Lobo resort in August, highlighting the true extent of the Algarve’s golf offering - suitable for top professional to holiday golfer.
Golf World’s recent Top 100 supplement demonstrated that ably with a very impressive showing for a region that covers just more than 2,000m2. That becomes all the more impressive when you consider that a further eight courses featured in the magazine’s list of The Next 100 top European courses.
The Algarve says it is “Europe’s most famous secret” - yet it seems that word is continuing to spread.