Oregon will showcase its incredible array of golf to the world when the sold out 10th edition of the annual North America Golf Tourism Convention (NAC) takes place in the heart of America’s Beaver State this month.
Golf tour operator delegates from 29 countries will descend on the Central Oregon town of Bend – known for its golf-friendly climate with over 300 sunny days a year – for the event, which is being staged at Sunriver Resort from June 24-27 and is organized by global golf tourism organization IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators).
The impact of the event will be state-wide, as the vast majority of the attending tour operators will also be participating in a series of familiarization tours before and after the convention to experience top golf courses throughout Oregon.
Throughout the three-day event, the tour operators will have meetings with golf clubs, golf resorts and hotels, tourist boards, regional destinations, receptive tour operators and ancillary service providers. This year, 10% of the US suppliers will be attending for the first time, including Oregon representatives Tualatin Valley, Running Y Ranch, Silvies Valley Ranch and Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
Besides the large US contingent, suppliers will also be attending from Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.
It will be one of the final events for Central Oregon Visitors Association CEO Alana Hughson, a former Chair of the Oregon Tourism Commission, before she retires after 25 years as head of the organization.
“Visit Central Oregon is tremendously excited to play host to IAGTO for its North America Convention in June,” she said. “This is the single most important conference of the year for our destination and the state and region will be rolling out the red carpet for NAC attendees.
“Our destination will offer pre and post fam tours to our US Top 100 golf courses, as well as excursions for fly fishing, cycling, hiking, river rafting and microbrew tasting and we look forward to celebrating NAC’s 10th anniversary in style.”
Lisa Itel, Director of Global Strategic Partnerships for Travel Oregon, is excited about the positive impact the forthcoming event will have for golf tourism in the state.
“Travel Oregon sees NAC 2018 as a turning point in the expansion of international golf tourism to Oregon, particularly in the Central Oregon region,” she said. “It’s also an incredible opportunity to grow the global golf travel business from other parts of the world by showcasing the exceptional golf product found throughout the state.
“Europe is currently the biggest overseas market for golf visitors, thanks to non-stop flights to Portland. However, NAC 2018 is also seen as a huge opportunity to boost golf tourism from Asia, particularly China, Korea and Japan. China and Japan are currently the state’s two biggest overseas visitor markets.”
She believes the growth of direct and indirect flights to Portland is a trend that will continue. “International visits to the US have outpaced the domestic travel demand over the past decade,” she added. “And, in Oregon, we are outpacing the national average of international visitation with a 6% increase in 2017, which is nearly double the total of international visitation, nationally.”
IAGTO’s Chief Executive, Peter Walton, said: “I visited Oregon for the first time in the summer of 2016 and found the entire experience quite breathtaking. I had anticipated some stunning landscapes, but the quality, variety and beauty of the golf in Central Oregon is exceptional.”
On NAC being in Oregon, he added: “We could not have chosen a better place in which to stage our celebratory 10th North America Golf Tourism Convention. I believe that NAC is going to be momentous for the Beaver State, because internationally it is one of the USA’s lesser-known golf destinations but definitely one of the most spectacular. There are some 30 golf courses within Central Oregon including three Top 100 courses, all of which have been incorporated into our fam tour programs and golf tournament.
“Our fams are also showcasing some of Oregon’s other great golf destinations including Portland and its wine-country, Bandon Dunes and Southern Oregon. The variety of golf is extraordinary and matched by myriad outdoor activities, not to mention the microbreweries!
“Sunriver Resort is celebrating its own 50th anniversary this year, and to be able to take over the entire resort around midsummers’ day for the convention is a real privilege.”
Previous NACs have been held at locations including Miami’s Trump National Doral, Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, Palm Springs in California, Charleston in South Carolina and Naples, Florida.
IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) is the global trade organization of the golf tourism industry, having been established in 1997. It has over 2500 members in 99 countries including over 650 golf tour operator members in 63 countries, which control more than 85% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of over US$2.3 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 and the IAGTO Excellence Awards.
IAGTO Ltd is registered in England as a Professional Membership Organisation.
Registered No. 3507678 – UK SIC 9112, Concorde House, Grenville Place, London NW7 3SA, United Kingdom.