The record-breaking 2016 edition of International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the world’s premier global event for golf tourism suppliers, buyers and media, officially opened yesterday.
The ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the four-day exhibition, which will see more than 14,500 appointments take place, was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Pilar Carbonell, Managing Director of the Tourism Council Balearic Islands, Cosme Bonnet, Representative of Mallorca Council and Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager.
The 2016 edition of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) is hosted on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca at Son Termes, from November 14 – 17, 2016.
To mark the occasion, here are ten things golfers might not have known about Spain’s largest island…
The popular holiday island is home to the third largest airport in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona, with Palma Airport receiving more than 24 million passengers in 2015.
Golfers visiting Mallorca are able to take advantage of its Mediterranean climate, as the island enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year, with a year-round average temperature of 21°C.
In 2015, more than 600,000 rounds of golf were played on the island’s 23 golf courses, which include Son Vida Golf, the oldest course on the island, established in 1964, and Golf Son Gual, which opened in 2007 and is ranked in the top 100 golf courses in Europe by top100courses.co.uk.
Mallorca’s number 1 course, Golf Son Gual, situated in “The Valley of a Thousand Windmills”, boasts more than 1,000 olive trees within a 75-acre site.
Located only 10km from the island’s capital, Palma, is the Jack Nicklaus-designed Golf Park Mallorca Puntiró. The course features generous, undulating, fairways lined with pine, olive and carob trees and a number of large, elevated greens. The venue is also home to one of the best golf academies in Spain, which uses Jack Nicklaus’ teaching methods.
The island of Mallorca has hosted seven European Tour events, all held at the José María Olazábal-designed Pula Golf Resort. Winners of the Mallorca Classic, held between 2003 and 2007, include Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Sergio Garcia and José María Olazábal, while the Iberdola Open, held in 2010 and 2011, was won by Peter Hanson and Daren Clarke.
Former World Number One tennis player and 14-time Grand Slam winner, Rafael Nadal, was born and raised in Manacor, a town on the east side of Mallorca. Alongside José María Olazábal, Nadal, a single-figure handicap golfer, created the Olazábal & Nadal Invitational in 2013, with the charity golf tournament held at Pula Golf Resort each year.
Mallorca has long been popular with the world’s rich and famous, with Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill and Elizabeth Taylor all having spent time there in the 1930s and 1950s. There are also a number of current A-listers and celebrity golfers who regularly visit the island, including Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Claudia Schiffer, Pierce Brosnan and Boris Becker.
Gastronomes visiting Mallorca have seven Michelin star restaurants to choose from, including Zaranda, owned by chef Fernando Pérez Arellano and located in the 5-star Castell Son Claret hotel in Es Capdellà, which was awarded two stars in 2016.
No point in Mallorca is further than 40km from the sea, so golfers visiting the island are never far from one of its picturesque beaches.
For more information about IGTM and the venue for the 19th edition of the event, please visit: www.igtm.co.uk
PICTURE CAPTION: The record-breaking 2016 edition of IGTM is officially underway. (Left to Right) Charlie Cracknell, Senior Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions; Seniora Paula Ginard, Managing Director of the Mallorcan Tourism Council; Seniora Inmaculada Benito, President of the Mallorcan Hotel Federation; Senior Cosme Bonnet, Representative of Mallorca Council; Seniora Pilar Carbonell, Managing Director of the Tourism Council Balearic Islands; Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager; Seniora Ana Gozalo, Manager of Sports and Nature Tourism of the Institute of Tourism in Spain; Seniora Joanna-Maria Adrover, responsible for tourism in Palma; Senior Andreu Bujosa, Mayor of Banyola.