Wales voted Undiscovered Golf
Destination of the Year for 2002 Staff Report

Dec. 10, 2002 -- Wales was awarded the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year award at the International Association of Golf Tour Operators' annual gala event, held during the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) at Biarritz, France.

Nominated by golf travel journalists from more than 20 countries and voted for by members of the Golf Travel Writers Association, this is a wonderful accolade to golf tourism in Wales. Getting the thumbs up from the top golf travel journalists in the world suggests that Wales won't remain undiscovered for long!

Nominees are considered on the following criteria: to what extent is the golf destination undiscovered; qualities that make for an interesting golf destination; attractiveness of the region and of the courses; golf course quality and accessibility; standard of accommodation; friendliness of the staff; value for money; speed of play; and climate.

Commenting on receiving the award, Wales Tourist Board Marketing Director Roger Pride, said:

"This is fantastic news for golf tourism in Wales and proves what we've been saying all along - that Wales is the next big thing in global golf. This award is testament to Wales' success in winning the Ryder Cup in 2010, to the growing quality of the tourism product - some of which is displaying at IGTM - to the commitment of the Welsh Assembly Government to growing golf tourism into Wales and to the collective team approach by all partners in this task."

Anne Harper, President of the Golf Travel Writers' Association, whose members voted for Wales, commented on Wales' award:

"When you consider how rich Wales' golfing heritage is, it is surprising it has lain undiscovered for so long. It has its share of wonderful historic and new courses - links, heathland and parkland in stunning locations, with green fees that won't give you a nasty shock. New golf accommodations are now springing up across the principality and these range from well equipped self-catering to country house hotels.

"The icing on the cake has to be the bold, costly and highly successful bid to woo the Ryder Cup there in 2010. Look out for Wales, for its golfing best is yet to come."

And according to Peter Walton, Chief Executive of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, Wales' success lies in its ability to offer stress-free golfing:

"Whilst golf travel is growing faster than most other tourism sectors, the choice of places to play is expanding even faster. To be successful, golf destinations have to deliver high quality courses at value for money prices, and that is exactly what Wales has done. From the moment you set foot in any one of the many wonderful golf clubs in the country you are made to feel welcome, and being relaxed is the key to enjoying any golfing holiday.

"To be recognised by the world's leading golf travel writers as the best undiscovered golf destination of the year is a massive achievement, and one which I am sure will see Wales become a favourite golfing haven for domestic and international visitors alike."

Andrew Davies, Economic Development Minister, and Minister responsible for tourism commented:

"This award is recognition of the growing awareness around the world of Wales as a destination for Golf tourism. It is also a tribute to the hard work of those involved in marketing the game and other attractions we offer to tourists. The successful collaborative approach which brought the Ryder Cup to Wales in 2010 is now being harnessed to promote our golf courses - which make a feature of our celebrated scenery and Welsh welcome - to golfers in all corners of the globe. Hopefully this award will accelerate Wales' emergence out of the shadows and encourage more people to sample the delights of Welsh golf."

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