What an action packed first quarter of the year we've had so far !

The year 2017 marks the start of our second decennium in operation. We've concluded 10 years since we started and organised 43 events in 16 countries all over the world. During those years EGTMA members have generated millions of Euros worth of media coverage for destinations, hotels, golf courses and partners. There is no denying, the EGTMA is the leading golf travel media association in the world. 

During our 11th year we will and have taken in a few new destinations with Italy, Denmark, Hungary and possibly France and Arizona while other destinations have requested repeat visits which shows us that our media performance is very much appreciated.

In the first three months we have sent delegates to Belek where our long standing partner, the PGAs of Europe held their annual congress and country championship. Our members have always contributed to the debate as to where golf teaching and development can go while promoting the destination to their readers. 

Our second event saw us discover a new destination with Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Italy. The feedback I received was nothing than positive with a spectacular resort and golf course trying to carve out a place in the hearts and minds of golf lovers world wide. 

Just recently, 16 of us returned from what was a return visit to the region around Porto. With 13 out of 16 members new to the region, we traveled around the historic and mountainous area bordering the Douro valley and down to the sea where we played both old and new golf courses and stayed in both traditional as modern hotels. This is a region that deserves a golfer's attention as it has everything, gastronomy, wine, fabulous hotels and great golf courses. It is a also a 'working' region which is great to see.

Our next event is only 2 weeks away when we play two of the best parkland courses in Ireland on either side of the 'border' ... the EGTMA, Golf Across Borders sees us visit Lough Erne in County Fermanagh (N.Ireland) and Slieve Russell in Co. Cavan (Ireland). 12 EGTMA members are making their way to Dublin Airport and will be immersed in good old Irish hospitality. 

Following that in May, Zala Springs in Hungary and the Scandinavian in Denmark are our next hosts and both resorts have Robert Trent Jones II designed courses, modern clubhouses and an high end membership. Will be great to compare them and also to see how golf is coming on in non traditional golf destinations.

Later this year, we still have the GolfinFlanders International Media Championship and the North & West Coast Links Challenge and we are also in talks with the Cote d'Opale (Hardelot, Le Touquet) for an event and are trying to pull the Scottsdale event over the line.

So, it looks like 2017 will be a record year for the EGTMA with possibly 10 events and our 50th event in total. 

Looking forward to seeing any one of you at one of the events mentioned,

Your President (for life obviously) 

Jo Maes

 

New partnership with Golf in Flanders !

Dear EGTMA member, parter and guest,

The EGTMA has recently entered into a partnership to promote Flanders as a golf destination to the European Media and golf & travel industry during 2017.
"Golf in Flanders" is the new initiative between the Flemish Tourist Board and the Flemish Golf Federation to start promoting Flanders as a possible alternative golf destination for golfers worldwide. 

Flanders has many tourism assets ... the region has been the centre of the developed world for centuries and its historic landmarks across cities, towns and regions are a reminder of its rich history. Anybody that has seen pictures or has visited Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Ypres and other have witnessed the grandeur through the ages.

  Antwerp by night, Unesco Heritage site.

Antwerp by night, Unesco Heritage site.

Important for golfers, Belgium is a beer-lover's paradise, with over 1,500 different original beers, many with their own personalised beer glasses in which that beer, and only that beer, may be served. Although Flanders is still too much identified with waffles, fries, beer and chocolate it has amongst the world's most Michelin Star restaurants per capita so it's very hard to avoid good food in Flanders ! When it comes to fashion, Belgium as a rich history but also has a very lively contemporary fashion scene. It already started in 1663 in Antwerp when the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp was found.

  More beers that you can imagine ... 

More beers that you can imagine ... 

From 1914 to 1918 Flanders Field was a major battle theatre in the First World War. A million soldiers from more than 50 different countries were wounded, missing or killed in action here. Entire cities and villages were destroyed, their population on the run. Ypres and Passchendaele became worldwide symbols for the senselessness of war.

Golf in its modern form started in 1888 when the Royal Antwerp Golf Club was found, the 2nd oldest golf club on the continent. Since then, over 50 courses are available for play and although mostly member based, there are many opportunities to play good courses at reasonable green fee rates. Courses are always dotted around the major cities with Bruges, Antwerp, Genk and even Brussels offering accommodation and golf courses all within a short distance. With an extensive road network and accessibility by air and sea, Flanders is very much at the centre of Europe for everything including playing golf.

   Royal Antwerp, founded in 1888 making it the 2nd oldest golf club on the continent.

Royal Antwerp, founded in 1888 making it the 2nd oldest golf club on the continent.

This partnership will allow us to organise the Flanders International Media Challenge which will take place later in the year and will showcase the best golf Flanders has to offer. We will be sending out regular newsletter and information about Golf in Flanders, news, the 'Did you knows?' and other facts and figures. On a personal level I am delighted to be able to showcase my home country and where I grew up playing golf.

As always, I am all yours,

Jo Maes, President of the EGTMA.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It's the time of the year to wish all of our members, partners and supporters a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2017 bring health, happiness and prosperity.
As you can see from our program underneath, there will be plenty of opportunity for EGTMA members to travel with some exciting venues and destinations, both recurring and new, on the agenda. Our rekindled relationship with the PGA's of Europe is proof that, in our 11th year, the EGTMA is still a strong partner for anybody that wants to promote their organisation, venue, region, hotel and golf course to the European golf public. 
It therefore gives me great pleasure to see that the majority of our members have already confirmed their membership for 2017 and they will be receiving invitations to our events in 2017. It makes our task of getting membership cards made early in the year that much easier. 

Detailed Program 2017
January 16 - 21: PGAs of Europe Annual Congress, Belek, Turkey
February 2017 TBC: Puglia, history and golf combined, Italy.
April 2 - 6: Porto and More, Portugal
April 25 - 28: Lough Erne Golf Resort Fermanagh, N. Ireland
May/June:  Zala Springs, Hungary
Oct 2017: EGTMA North & West Coast Links Challenge, Ireland

TBC - 2nd part of 2017: Scottsdale, the Valley of the Sun Media Challenge, USA

Partnerships 2017
Should you wish to become a partner of the EGTMA, please do not hesitate to contact us. The benefits of partnerships are multiple and will allow you to promote yourself and your company, destination etc. to the European golfers through the multiple media outlets the EGTMA reaches. Contact us to learn more about a partnership package.
Again, looking forward to 2017 and wishing you all the very best for the end of the year.
Jo Maes | President
European Golf & Travel Media Association
jomaes@egtma.com - Tel +353.1.442.9016

Newsletter November 2016

The EGTMA is now reaching the end of its 10th year. When we started back in 2006, an association of our kind was much needed and welcomed by many organisations and destinations in the golf & travel industry. We provided access to high level golf journalists and supported media exposure into various countries and therefore the EGTMA became a viable and cost effective PR & marketing option for resorts, golf courses and destinations.

Over the years, we have organised 43 events in 15 countries and have generated millions of Euros of AEV (Advertising Equivalent Value) through our international media outlets. During those 10 years, the media has moved on considerably from a mainly print environment back in 2006 to today's online and mobile media landscape. I personally am very proud of what we have achieved for our members during those 10 years. Judging from the activity on social media, we can see that many of our journalist have been able to increase their profile and have become well sought after media professionals. This has resulted in our journalists being on top of the list when it comes to invitations to attend press conferences, media events and participate in press trips. I believe the EGTMA has played a vital role in supporting our members in the world of golf and travel journalism. 

The evolution of technology combined with the fact that any information is readily available online has undeniably put pressure on the EGTMA in its ability to provide a 'unique' service to destinations, resorts and golf courses. A service for which companies in the same field of competence charge fees for and have several staff at their disposal to provide an all encompassing solution to these same resorts and golf courses.

We continue to get great feedback from the destinations we've visited on how having an EGTMA group has been a distinctive advantage for them to generate much needed publicity and awareness. This added to the fact that they are guaranteed media coverage following the hosting of an EGTMA delegation. The AD/DC is that many of the regions and destinations we visited in the past have now become more aware of their potential as golf destinations. This positive evolution has freed up more marketing and PR money and/or funding but this combined with direct access to 'our' journalists has created a situation whereby the importance of the EGTMA as an organisation has decreased and the profile of the individual members has increased. This is putting pressure on the EGTMA to remain relevant in the current media environment.

I believe that in order for the EGTMA to remain at the forefront of the European Golf & Travel Media scene, we will have to reinvent ourselves like any progressive organisation has to do. This will include some changes in membership criteria and some added features and services that we will offer to both members and destinations. Over the next few weeks and months, we will consult with members and destinations in order to find the best structure to go into the next 10 years of EGTMA.

It's with great pleasure to announce that we already have two events confirmed for next year and two or even three more likely to be confirmed in the next few weeks. Next April, we will return to Porto and its surroundings to rediscover the sights, sounds and courses in the North of Portugal and later that month, the G8 venue of Lough Erne in Northern Ireland will host an EGTMA delegation. The three other destinations under discussion are Bulgaria, Hungary and pretty excited that we are consulting with the Scottsdale Convention Bureau to create magnificent media trip to the Valley in the Sun later next year.

- Porto and much more (2 - 6 April)
- Lough Erne, Fermanagh Lakelands (25 - 28 April)
- Golf and Goulash, Zala Springs, Hungary (TBC - May 2017)
- All Rosy in Sofia, Bulgaria (TBC 2017)
- The Valley in the Sun Media Invitational, Scottsdale AZ (TBC Aug/Sep)

On a Personal Note ...

Denise, Finn and myself have relocated back to Ireland (Northern Ireland to be precise) after 7 years in the Algarve. This was a big decision to make and there were several reasons why. There were family and business reasons and this obviously has put a lot of strain on us as moving countries and taking a 9 year old out of his comfort zone, something he has known all of his conscious life, is not easy. We are now settled in nicely and are looking forward to the next phase of our life.



Membership 2017 ...

It's the time of the year to requests existing and potential new members to confirm their commitment to the EGTMA. All the above mentioned trips will be available for members only and unlike other years we will have to have a strict cut off date for membership renewals. This year we were unable to provide membership cards for various reasons. One, it is hard to make a batch of membership cards when people sign up between December and May. Second, we've had two suppliers in Portugal who both went out of business and by the time that was all clear, we were in the middle of moving back to Ireland so we had other things on our minds. We do apologise for that and the possibly inconvenience that this might have caused. This year, we commit to provide membership cards by the middle of January. Unfortunately, we need the confirmation of all members to be able to meet that target.

As per previous years, the EGTMA membership remains unchanged at €100 for the calendar year. We have a PayPal link on our website to be found here. 

Looking forward to 2017 and wishing you all the very best for the end of the year.

Jo Maes | President
European Golf & Travel Media Association
jomaes@egtma.com

Newsletter October 2016

Dear Members, Guests, Partners, Supporters of the EGTMA,

The EGTMA is now reaching the end of its 10th year. When we started back in 2006, an association of our kind was much needed and welcomed by many organisations and destinations in the golf & travel industry. We provided access to high level golf journalists and supported media exposure into various countries and therefore the EGTMA became a viable and cost effective PR & marketing option for resorts, golf courses and destinations.

Over the years, we have organised 43 events in 15 countries and have generated millions of Euros of AEV (Advertising Equivalent Value) through our international media outlets. During those 10 years, the media has moved on considerably from a mainly print environment back in 2006 to today's online and mobile media landscape. I personally am very proud of what we have achieved for our members during those 10 years. Judging from the activity on social media, we can see that many of our journalist have been able to increase their profile and have become well sought after media professionals. This has resulted in our journalists being on top of the list when it comes to invitations to attend press conferences, media events and participate in press trips. I believe the EGTMA has played a vital role in supporting our members in the world of golf and travel journalism. 

The evolution of technology combined with the fact that any information is readily available online has undeniably put pressure on the EGTMA in its ability to provide a 'unique' service to destinations, resorts and golf courses. A service for which companies in the same field of competence charge fees for and have several staff at their disposal to provide an all encompassing solution to these same resorts and golf courses.

We continue to get great feedback from the destinations we've visited on how having an EGTMA group has been a distinctive advantage for them to generate much needed publicity and awareness. This added to the fact that they are guaranteed media coverage following the hosting of an EGTMA delegation. The AD/DC is that many of the regions and destinations we visited in the past have now become more aware of their potential as golf destinations. This positive evolution has freed up more marketing and PR money and/or funding but this combined with direct access to 'our' journalists has created a situation whereby the importance of the EGTMA as an organisation has decreased and the profile of the individual members has increased. This is putting pressure on the EGTMA to remain relevant in the current media environment.

I believe that in order for the EGTMA to remain at the forefront of the European Golf & Travel Media scene, we will have to reinvent ourselves like any progressive organisation has to do. This will include some changes in membership criteria and some added features and services that we will offer to both members and destinations. Over the next few weeks and months, we will consult with members and destinations in order to find the best structure to go into the next 10 years of EGTMA.

Continuing our 10 years theme, we are still working and trying to confirm one more trip in 2016 and we also and already have two events confirmed for next year and two more likely to be confirmed in the next few weeks. Next April, we will return to Porto and its surroundings to rediscover the sights, sounds and courses in the North of Portugal and later that month, the G8 venue of Lough Erne in Northern Ireland will host an EGTMA delegation. The other two destinations under discussion are Bulgaria and Hungary. 

I wish each and every one of you the best for the end of this year.

I remain, with best regards,

Jo Maes | President of the EGTMA

Newsletter May 2016

European Golf & Travel Media Association

We are now well underway in the year and EGTMA members have already had the opportunity to participate in three events.

For our first event, we visited the Algarve region in Portugal where the NAU Hotels & Resorts were the hosts to 16 EGTMA members from all over Europe. Under glorious sunshine, we stayed at the Morgado Golf Resort, inland from Portimao and played both Morgado as well as Alamos. The first night and during a welcome dinner attended by NAU staff, we took time to look back at some of the sights, sounds, experiences, past members and shared memories of 10 years EGTMA. The next morning, we headed for the coast where we stayed at the 5* Salgados Dunas Suites and in extremely windy conditions took on the Florida styled Salgados course. The NAU Hotels & Resorts showcased their courses, hotels and culinary delights as we were treated to some exquisite meals accompanied by some excellent Portuguese wines. Many articles have already been written and published, much to the delight of the NAU staff involved in the organisation of this event.

Following this highly successful event, we headed North West to Ireland for our 7th event along the Wild Atlantic Way organised by the North & West Coast Links Marketing association. The EGTMA first ever event took place in 2006 and took us from Royal County Down over to Portrush and down to Portsalon, Rosapenna and Ballyliffin. What a way to start our association! This April, Donegal, Enniscrone, Carne, Connemara and Galway Bay hosted EGTMA members from all over the continent. The accommodation and food seems to get better and better with every year that passes and that particular coastline is truly worthy of a visit !

Our third event this year saw 18 members return to Belgium invited by Martin’s Hotels. To stay at their landmark property Chateau Du Lac in Genval is always a treat and playing Enghien, Hulencourt and Mont Garni showcased some of the golf that is available around the various Martin’s Hotels. It is always great for me, being from Belgium, realising how underrated golf in Belgium is. Unfortunately, it takes a private initiative to support my views and expose what we have to offer golf wise to the European media and provide golfers from all over with a taste of golf in Belgium.

 

We are working hard on providing some more events this year and are waiting on some confirmations.

I can only stress that the success of the EGTMA relies entirely on our members and what they produce as coverage. This allows me to go out and explain destinations what we can bring and how we can promote their destination, resort, hotel and golf course to a worldwide audience.

I will keep all of you updated on our program for the second half of the year. 

Have a good summer,

Jo Maes
President of the EGTMA

And remember ... You have to be the first to create the news ! 

Newsletter November 2015

 

Dear Members,

Another year has almost come to a close. It gives us a bit of time to reflect on the past and look forwards to the future.

Yes, it's been nine years now since we set up the EGTMA basically on the back of a beer mat (as you do) following on what were already some successful 'European Writers Golf Tour' events led by Ethel and Colin Farqueharson. Back in 2005, a number of journalists were being driven around Portugal together with some LET members and we played golf in the Algarve (Montado), down to Vimeiro Golf (and getting lost along the way) and then heading for the Riba courses just South of Lisbon. 

At the end of the event, Colin & Ethel asked me if I was interested to continue their 'organisation' as they were ready to retire from it. I agreed under one condition ...that they were to be the Honorary President(s) for life of a more organised 'association' to which they agreed. 

The EGTMA took form and it all began in earnest with a trip to Ireland and to the North & West Coast Links back in 2006. We were both newly formed and both have since then grown into respected organisations in our respective fields. 

Over these past nine years, we've been fortunate enough to visit many places and experience wonderful hospitality everywhere we have been. We've organised to date, 41 media trips to destinations like Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Norway, Germany, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and even China and Canada. Quite a good number being only 'part time' and a number some PR organisations wouldn't even get to.

That was then, this is now and 2015 has somewhat been an unfortunate year for the EGTMA as professional challenges and work obligations have not allowed me to put much effort in the organisation and therefore provide the number of events that our members have been accustomed to over the past nine years. Now that these challenges are out of the way, I have been able to focus a bit more on getting more trips for next year as 2016 is our 10th Anniversary Year.

We start 2016, ironically where it all began as described in the first paragraph. February coming we're heading to the Algarve where the recently formed NAU Hotel Group has invited us to sample their hotels and three golf courses: Salgados, Alamos and (???) Morgado ! This will take place from February first till the sixth. In April we will have a busy month as the area around Chateau Des Vigiers with the newly opened St Emillion and the established Medoc Golf Resort will host a selection of predominantly GB&I journalists. End of April we're heading back to Ireland with another North & West Coast Links event. 

We are in discussions with several other destinations, some of which we've already been to ... the Porto Region following up on our successful trip in 2013 , Biarritz have expressed a keen interest as they are still receiving articles supporting their efforts to receive us and Wales will roll out several themed marketing campaigns which are to be supported by some media trips. There are also a few long shots with England Golf and/or the English Golf Coast looking to receive some EGTMA members plus Huelva are now cranking up their golf marketing and we already have a proposal with them.

We are working on a worthy 10 Year celebration finish end of 2016 where we can have a large number of members (current and even past) to participate and celebrate our 10th anniversary in style.

Your President ... forever (looks like it)

Jo Maes

Newsletter June 2015

Dear and esteemed EGTMA member,

As we are approaching the 2nd half of the year, many of you have wondered whether there will be any more press trips scheduled. We’ve had of course a immensely oversubscribed return trip to the North & West Coast Links in Ireland where many of you were disappointed not to have been selected to participate. Unfortunately, there were limited places and on top of that, strict criteria as to which countries and media journalists were to come from. 

As a reminder of that trip, here´s a link to a CNN, Living Golf report about the region.

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/04/living-golf-padraig-harrington-b-spc.cnn

There are a few reasons why we haven’t had as many trips this year as we’ve had in the past although we still have 7 months to go ! My work situation has obliged me to devote all of my time to the business, with many changes over the course of the last 12 months, I have hardly had any time to really go after destinations. The one thing I can see though is that we seem to have become the victim of our own success. From social media I can see that many of you have no shortage of invitations to go on press trips. Our work over the past 9 years have brought notoriety to our members and while we approach destinations, we often hear that they have had individual members return or visit following previous press trips and that they know don’t really need our ‘help’ any more which is obviously great for our members and mission accomplished I would say.

So, obviously you are all curious as to what is in the pipeline for the remainder of the year ?

There are several destinations still looking at hosting an EGTMA event but the most imminent are Estonia where golf is starting to grow. The region of Porto is not adverse to a return visit of our journalists as they are plotting their way on to the golf tourism centre stage and at the end of the year, a visit to Mallorca and Son Antem is on the cards. Added to these three events, we are also having discussions with the Carrick on Loch Lomond and the Martin’s Hotels Group and the coastal region surrounding Bruges. 

We also call on members who in their own country have excellent contacts with courses, tourist boards etc. and would like to showcase their ‘home’ country to the world … like some of us have already done in the past, become EGTMA ambassadors as it were ! Do not hesitate to contact us and put it all together. I know some of you have already approached us to organise an event for 2016 ! 

Mentioning 2016 brings me to the following. We have now gone 9 years and over these years we’ve organised over 40 media trips. Next year we will be having our 10th anniversary and we are already planning some great events to celebrate a decade of golf & travel journalism !

Looking forward to the rest of the year !

 

Jo Maes,

Your President... always and forever :-)