STA, February 6, 2018 - Slovenia will have the opportunity to fortify its position as a golfing destination as the host of this year's pre-eminent annual event for the golf travel industry, the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), organisers believe.
Slovenia will host the IGTM in October, three years after it was declared the Undiscovered Gold Destination by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
The IATGO annual event is a step forward in Slovenia's efforts to attract more golfing enthusiasts, with the organisers, Reed Exhibition, expecting around 1,400 representatives from the branch and a short-term financial impact of EUR 5m.
The executive director of the market, Peter Grimster, expects many of the participants to look beyond the golfing tourism when they come, including city, sport and wellness tourism. "We're expecting 400 golf tour operators from 60 countries," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"This translates into more golfers and visitors in Slovenia, which in turn benefits the economy," he added.
IATGO general manager Carlton Carugati noted that Slovenia was on offer with 60 tour operators at the moment and that this was a great potential.
In addition to the main event, organisers will also provide study tours to Slovenia's golf courses, while they are not excluding the possibility to extend them to neighbouring Italy and Austria as part of the cooperation within the Alpe Adria Golf initiative, the head of the Golf Tourism Association Žiga Osterc added.
Meanwhile, the head of the Slovenian tourism authority STO, Maja Pak, added that Slovenia had potential because it was considered "relatively undiscovered in terms of golfing tourism".
The event will be hosted by Ljubljana between 15 and 18 October, with the head of the Ljubljana tourism board, Petra Stušek, pointing out that golfers spend between EUR 180 and EUR 220 a day on average and that they are focused on attractive courses and good food.