Visit Wales and stand partners have just returned from a successful trip to the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida and have reported an increased level of awareness of Wales as a golf destination.
Visit Wales along with The Celtic Manor Resort, The Vale Resort,Asbri Golf and EuroWales experienced stronger leads than ever at this year’s show with noticeably more stand visitors having now been to Wales to play golf.
Many visitors to the stand had also seen and commented on the TV coverage of the hugely successful Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl last July and those who had not certainly took note of Tom Watson who said of the course: “I really fell in love with it immediately. I can now check if off my bucket list.”
There continues to be a strong and noticeable interest in the world-class links golf that Wales has to offer travelling US golfers as well as resorts such as Celtic Manor Resort and Vale Resort, both of which were stand partners this year. Stand visitors were also able to meet with Emyr Griffith of EuroWales who was able to offer tailor-made golfing and wider itineraries to suit their particular interests and requirements.
The PGA Show followed attendance at the International Golf Travel Market in October 2014 and Visit Wales and partners were able to follow-up on a number of leads made at IGTM – demonstrating that a regular and consistent presence in the hugely competitive international golf tourism market is key to continuing to raise the profile of Wales as a golf destination and in turning interest into actual visits.
Paul Williams of Asbri Golf, said: “Once again the PGA Show has been an incredibly busy three days and hugely important for the growth of our export business. As always, there is a lot of follow-up to do, but we are quietly confident that this has been the best show yet with some major distribution deals in the pipeline. The partnership with Visit Wales at the show not only gives our brand an incredible platform but increases our visibility in a very competitive show.”
Matthew Barnby, from the Celtic Manor Resort, said: "Our excellent stand and location at PGA Show assisted us in gaining lots of interest in visiting Wales. We also received many positive comments from those who have previously played golf in Wales. It was great to catch up with contacts made at the show last year with whom we are now doing business.”
Following last year’s Show, the Celtic Manor Resort will have three special visitors this summer as initial discussions with a representative from Florida University have led to three students from the US working at the Resort for six months from May this year and there is the possibility of the exchange being expanded going forward.
Clive Coombs, Golf Manager at the Vale Resort said: “What a great show, very busy with a real buzz. The stand looked fantastic and showed Wales off to its best. It was great to hear so many positive comments from visitors who have experienced Welsh hospitality. Many conversations had with visitors to the stand assures me that Wales is making its mark and will see the number of visiting golfers grow.”