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