The steadily growing Cambodian golf sector was well represented at the Asia Golf Tourism Convention which concluded last week at Mission Hills Haikou on Hainan Island off the southern coast of China.
Among the nearly 500 delegates from 40 countries attending the four-day convention were three Siem Reap-based industry men – Angkor Golf Resort’s director of golf David Baron, PSD Travels general manager Candra Tanpatti and Phokeethra Country Club golf operations manager Julian Romaguera.
“This year’s AGTC will without doubt be the most important golf tourism event ever to have taken place in Asia,” said Peter Walton, president of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), during his address at the opening session.
“More than 5,000 meetings took place at last year’s AGTC but this year we have a 23 per cent increase in the number of buyers. We are proud of having more buyer delegates than supplier companies for the first time, which is unique in the tourism industry and guarantees great opportunities for all attending suppliers.
“Haikou and Hainan Island are at the forefront of China’s inbound golf tourism industry and we are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase this wonderful destination to delegates from 40 countries,” he added.
Candra Tanpatti told the Post: “We have been participating in the AGTC for the third year in a row since its first edition in 2012. It has always been a good platform to showcase what Cambodia has to offer as a golfing destination, particularly with the active members from Siem Reap.
“We are looking to attract more tourist golfers to the Kingdom and host more international events in the future.”
David Baron, meanwhile, said that the AGTC was an event that they looked forward to each year.
“It presents us with an opportunity to highlight our facilities and destination to golf specific travel professionals and agents globally,” he said.
“Over the last three years, we have found the AGTC to be a very productive event and well worth the investment.”
Julian Romaguera said: “The 2014 Convention was a fantastic event, thanks to the efficient work from IAGTO and Mission Hills together.
“This convention once again gives us the opportunity to keep building and growing relationships with international buyers and explore new ways to cooperate with other clubs, people were very interested in our location and golf offer.”
Suppliers had an opportunity to introduce themselves to all buyers during two hours of “speed-dating” at the beginning of the first business day.
This was followed by nearly 10 hours of meetings over two days during which golf resorts, clubs, hotels and other suppliers had up to 38 appointments of 15 minutes each with golf tour operators from 35 countries.
The next AGTC will be held in Jakarta at the end of March 2015.