The Algarve is back on top as the world’s premier golf destination. At the 20th edition of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ annual golf tourism awards, the Algarve secured the top prize as “Golf Destination of the year”.
Held in Marrakech (Morocco) this year, the awards included just one overall “Golf Destination of the Year”, instead of one for each of five geographical regions. The Algarve had previously been named “European Golf Destination of the Year” in 2006 and 2014.
According to awards presenter and IAGTO chief executive Peter Walton, “As the guardians of the most important and prestigious golf tourism awards, for two decades now we have presented only a handful of awards each year, which lends enormous gravitas to the event and significance to the winners. With only one ‘Golf Destination of the Year Award’, the expectation was palpable.”
The other 14 destinations included in the vote by the IAGTO’s more than 700 golf tour operators in 63 countries, were (in alphabetical order): Abu Dhabi, Coastal South Carolina (US), Costa del Sol (Spain), Cote d’Azur and Provence (France), Dominican Republic, Fife (Scotland), Lisbon Golf Coast (Portugal), Marrakech (Morocco), Monterey County (US), New Zealand, South-West Ireland (Ireland), Tenerife (Spain), Vietnam and Western Cape/Garden Route (South Africa).
Formally receiving the award, Algarve Tourism president João Fernandes said, “I’m very proud to accept this award, on behalf of everybody working within the golf tourism industry in the Algarve, and we would like to offer our thanks to IAGTO and the golf tour operators who voted for us.
“We believe the Algarve has so many reasons for visiting us: the weather, the people, the beaches, the accommodation choice and, of course, the golf. But even if all the ingredients are present it still needs dedicated, passionate and highly-skilled people to serve it up correctly. And that’s what the people who work in the Algarve have done, not just this year but in previous years, and will do for 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 efforts and their continued faith in the Algarve. We hope to welcome you to our wonderful region again very soon.”
Top Golf Course Recognition for Quinta do Lago
Quinta do Lago is also celebrating this month, as the only venue to have three golf courses included in Golf World magazine’s respected “Top 100 Golf Courses in Continental Europe 2019” rankings.
It was the first time that all three of the luxury golf and lifestyle resort’s 18-hole championship layouts – North, South and Laranjal – had featured in the rankings.
Commenting on the achievement, chief executive Sean Moriarty said, “All three courses are very special to those who play in Quinta do Lago, so it is a pleasure to have our entire golf offering included in these benchmark rankings. The golf operations and greenkeeping teams at Quinta are exceptional and create a world-class experience for each and every golfer here.
“The South Course has long been acknowledged among Europe’s most prestigious golf venues and it’s a real pleasure to see it ranked inside the top 30. The North Course, which we revamped in 2014, continues to impress everyone that plays it, while Laranjal’s move into the top 100 is well-deserved and, we believe, long overdue.”
Golf is just one of the many attractions for people visiting the Algarve. Find out more about the region’s other sights and events here.