English version Top Hotels Trio of golf courses honoured in 2018 IAGTO Sustainability Awards

Trio of golf courses honoured in 2018 IAGTO Sustainability Awards


Three venues in Europe and Central America have gained the golf tourism industry’s top recognition for their commitment to sustainability, with accolades going to Spain, Italy and Costa Rica in the 18th annual IAGTO Awards.

The 2018 IAGTO Awards took place during the 20th International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), in front of an audience of 1,300 international golf tourism delegates at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France.

The IAGTO Sustainability Awards represent the pinnacle of a strategic partnership between global golf tourism trade association IAGTO and non-profit GEO Foundation (formerly Golf Environment Organization), and recognise excellence in environmental and social responsibility. IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton announced “We are delighted that Textron Golf is sponsoring our Sustainable Awards this year as our overall objective is to help our 850 member golf courses develop partnerships that enhance sustainability in all areas.”

The 2018 IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners are: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency: Finca Cortesin, Spain IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value: Golf della Montecchia, Italy IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection: Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Costa Rica

Jonathan Smith, GEO Executive Director, said: “The IAGTO Sustainability Award applicants and winners feature many of the greatest names in golf resorts and destinations around the world, all demonstrating an abundance of inspiring action and results across Nature, Resources and Community. The number and geographic spread of entries to the awards has expanded year on year since being introduced in 2013 and without fail, the quality of applications just keeps getting stronger.

“We thank all those who entered and congratulate all the very worthy winners – who continuously inspire us with work they do in their local areas. Their collective leadership is helping to showcase all that golf can do for people and the environment.”

Echoing his sentiments, Peter Walton said: “The addition of these three Sustainability Awards to our nine golf destination and golf resort awards back in 2013 has proved to be a catalyst for the expansion of best practices among our 850 golf course members worldwide. From the outset our objective was to both raise awareness of the amazing, and often unsung, achievements of so many golf facilities around the world, while using this platform to show how sustainable practices lead to great golf experiences for the visiting golf traveller. Five years on we are delighted with the impact that these Awards have made alongside the day to day activities of IAGTO’s sustainability partner, GEO Foundation.”

2018 IAGTO Sustainability Awards Winners GEO citations:

Finca Cortesin: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency “Finca Cortesin, in Spain, part of the European Tour Properties network, wins the Resource Efficiency category for its commitment to water conservation. Annually certified to ISO 14001 environmental standards, Finca Cortesin uses 100% recycled waste-water from the local town and has reduced its consumption by 40%. Use of appropriate grasses for the climate, auditing the irrigation infrastructure and installing state-of-the-art Toro Lynx irrigation management has also reduced pesticide use, all of which has been highlighted throughout the golf industry and on television.” Runner-up: GEO Certified® Terre Blanche, France

Golf della Montecchia: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value “For its wide-ranging environmental and community work and partnerships with a variety of educational institutions, GEO Certified® Golf Della Montecchia, in Italy, wins the Community Value category. Collaborative host of the Venice Open 2017, part of the US Kids Golf international junior tournament, approximately 300 families this year were introduced to Della Montecchia’s environmental commitment and their championing of sustainability in every aspect of operation.” Runner-up: GEO Certified® Al Mouj Golf, Oman

Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection “Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, in Costa Rica, recognised as a ‘Marriott Top Property’, wins the 2018 Nature Protection category for its reforestation and naturalisation projects. Native tree plantations are established with the help of local school children to create habitat for the iconic parrot species, the Scarlet Macaw. Not only does this provide a valuable educational and hands-on community experience, it also protects soil and watersheds, increases habitat areas for wildlife, and reduces course maintenance expenses.”  Runner-up: Umhlali Country Club & Golf Estate, South Africa

For 2018, the final shortlist reached 32 outstanding golf facilities, from 18 countries.

The 2018 IAGTO Sustainability Awards shortlist in full: Terre Blanche, France Al Mouj Golf, Oman Golf Della Montecchia, Italy Parador & Golf El Saler, Spain Umhlali CC & Golf Estate, South Africa Half Moon, USA Vidago Palace, Portugal Terme Di Saturnia, Italy West Cliffs (Praia Del Rey), Portugal Poggio Dei Medici, Italy Mission Hills (Haikou), China Royal Wellington Golf Club, New Zealand Dundonald Links, Scotland Mazagan Beach & Golf, Morocco Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Costa Rica Finca Cortesin, Spain Fancourt Country Club, South Africa Laguna Golf Bintan, Indonesia Laguna Golf Lang Co, Vietnam Doha Golf Club, Qatar Hardelot Golf Club, France Espiche Campo de Golfe, Portugal Le Golf National, France Kaanapali Golf Course, Hawaii, USA Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort, Bulgaria Grand Cypress Golf Club, USA Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, UAE Golf Normandie Côte d'Albâtre,, France Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, UAE Royale Jakarta Golf Club, Indonesia Phokeethra Country Club, Cambodia PGA Catalunya, Spain


Notes for Editors The IAGTO Sustainability Awards are open to all IAGTO members, from single course facilities such as Dundonald Links in Scotland, to the largest scale multi-functional resorts such as Mission Hills in China, and from professional tournament venues such as Emirates Golf Club in the UAE, to member and guest facilities such as Hardelot Golf Club, in France. Showing the depth and breadth of entries to the awards, previous winners have included: Pebble Beach, host of numerous US Open major championships; Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort, in Kenya, a quickly developing golf destination; Laguna Golf Phuket, in Thailand; and Machrihanish Dunes, in Scotland, a rugged traditional links at the heart of the local community and ecology. The awards have been designed so that achievements and results from the past 12 months are taken into strongest consideration, and with three key areas of sustainability recognized each year – Nature, Resources, Community – the awards can be shared out optimally depending on the actions and activities of different golf facilities from year to year.

About IAGTO Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry, and has over 2500 members in 98 countries including 680 golf tour operator members in 65 countries, which control more than 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of over US$2.5 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along with regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Market, now owned and operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions, in 1997 and the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000. IAGTO also runs the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards.

About GEO, GEO Certified and OnCourse GEO is an international non-profit foundation, based in Scotland. Entirely dedicated to helping advance sustainability in and through golf, GEO works collaboratively to develop programmes and solutions that support industry performance and provide credible recognition across facility management, new developments and tournaments. To date 1500 golf facilities in over 100 countries have participated in GEO’s OnCourse programme – golf’s easy to use, practical platform for sustainability. 209 facilities in 29 countries are GEO Certified® - demonstrating outstanding stewardship of nature, efficient use of resources and value to the community. A growing number of international and national golf associations are now partnering to regionalise and promote OnCourse as a support programme to their member clubs, gathering important industry metrics across nature, resources and community in the process.