Tourist Board at European Golf Business Conference

The Málaga-Costa del Sol Tourist Board has been present in the European Golf Business Conference. Organised by the European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA) and the Spanish Golf Course Owners Association (SGCOA), the event was held for the first time in Spain, more specifically in Marbella. To the Tourist Board, being there was a positive thing, given the golf industry’s importance to the Costa del Sol tourism sector.
EGCOA gathers golf course owners from 15 European countries and affiliates in another nine. In its 6th edition, the European Golf Business Conference relied on the experience provided by the five successful past events. SGCOA, in turn, felt honoured to help organise and host the conference.

The conference drew over 200 attendees, half of them coming from other European countries, mainly Norway and Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, but also USA and Canada.

Nominated by SGCOA, Marbella was the host city for being the place with the largest number of golf courses in Spain and the highest activity in the fields of golf and leisure for international high-end tourists. The conference’s logo included Marbella as a golf icon.

Since 2006, The European Golf Business Conference has catered to leading golf industry professionals from around the world, exploring the latest trends, inspirations and opportunities. In its 6th edition, the conference focused on “capturing the opportunities” that the golf industry has to offer and on how to sustain and grow business in these turbulent times.

The most important event took place on December 1. During the gala dinner, awards were given to leading personalities and organisations in the Spanish golf industry: Jaime Ortiz Patiño, Gonzaga Escauriaza (President of the Spanish Royal Golf Federation), Daniel Asís (President of Club Manager Spain), Joaquín Castillo (General Manager of Club de Campo Villa de Madrid), and Canal+ Golf (Director Hugo Costa and host Manuel Elvira).

EGCOA has members in the Netherlands, the UK, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, and Spain. All of them were represented at the conference in Marbella.

Keynote speakers included Michael Leemhuis (Executive Manager of Congressional Country Club, host venue for the US Open in 2011), who talked about “The ABCs of Leadership;” Jamie Edwards (creator of Trained Brain), discussed personal transformation as the basis of corporate transformation; Mike Hughes (CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association, USA), who introduced the keys to development in the golf industry; Eric Wilborts (owner of Blue Green, a label with 48 golf courses in France and Belgium), who drew a parallel between the fitness and the golf industries; and Carlos Roca (President of PGA of Spain), who gave a master class on marketing for golf academies.

The conference was held at Hotel Don Carlos, which provided accommodation to participants. To bring it to a close, there was a golf tournament at Cabopino Golf.


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