Monday, 18th May 2015. Golf tourism in Fiji is set for a huge boost following the conclusion of the 4th annual IAGTO Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) in Jakarta with Fiji highlighted as a prestigious golfing destination and Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course presented a Diamond Award.

Event Manager for the Fiji International run by PGA of Australia, Harmony Thomas, said the event placed Fiji on the radar of tour operations and established Fiji as one of the new golfing destinations for international markets.

“We look forward now to the sustainable growth of golf tourism to Fiji as a direct result of networking with more than 200 operators at the AGTC 2015. Not only was there interest in Fiji International hospitality packages but also year round golf packages for couples, families and singles,” she said.

Many of the attending operators all expressed interest in Fiji as a new golf destination to promote to their existing customer base of travelling golfers.

General Manager of Rosie Holidays, Eroni Puamau, who attended the event with Harmony Thomas, said the AGTC event was a fantastic opportunity to promote Fiji as a golf destination directly to the buyers of golf packages across the world.

“Rosie Holidays has been a part of the AGTC since its first event and we are seeing increasing interest from the Asian market as a result of the conference. With the Fiji International broadcast worldwide to over 300 million homes, we have seen that the selling of golf packages to Fiji has become a lot easier with increased interest from the various markets we are targeting”, Eroni Puamau said.

Staged in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, the convention was attended by 510 delegates including more than 180 golf tour operators in 35 countries around the world as well as 266 supplier delegates from 156 golf resorts, golf clubs, hotels, inbound operators and tourist boards from 23 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides two days of meetings at the Jakarta Convention Center, delegates were also treated to a lavish gala dinner for the presentation of the 2015 IAGTO Excellence Awards, where Fiji’s Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course was presented a Diamond Award.

The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) has carried out more than 250 golf tourism audits of golf courses around the world over the past decade and this year, one course from seven countries was selected to receive the prestigious distinction.

The 2015 Fiji International will be held from 15th – 18th October at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.

The inaugural Fiji International, boasting a million dollar prize purse, signaled Fiji’s official arrival onto the golfing world stage with the Fijian Government, Fiji Tourism and Fiji’s number one golf ambassador, Vijay Singh, all making a push to put their country on the lucrative world golfing map.

As the newest tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia tours, the inaugural Fiji International was a resounding success.

120 players from 16 different countries came together at the spectacular Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course to take on the challenging layout, designed by local hero Vijay Singh, to compete in the regions first ever internationally broadcast tournament.

Other players in the field included three time Major Champion Nick Price, Fiji’s Dinesh Chand, India’s highest ranked and world top-100 player Anirban Lahiri, China’s top ranked players Liang Wenchong and Wu Ashun, and two of Australia’s most successful and respected golfers Craig Parry and Peter O’Malley.

Hitting the very first tee shot of the Fiji International, Steven Jeffress went on to make history by sinking the last putt of the tournament as he birdied the 18th hole to claim the title by four shots from fellow Australian Jake Higginbottom.

Further information is available on www.fijiinternational.com



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