Accor has signed a partnership agreement with Great Golf Courses of Australia (GGA) to provide a range of inspiring golf itineraries to showcase the best of Australia.
The agreement was announced this week (Apr 30) at Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Sydney.
Worth an estimated AUD$26 billion annually, the international golf tourism market is a lucrative business that Australia is well placed to exploit, with its extensive range of world-class courses and its high-profile international golfers, highlighted by Adam Scott’s recent triumph in the US Masters.
Great Golf Courses of Australia profiles and provides access to Australia’s leading golf courses, as well as providing a comprehensive and centralised resource for golfers, media and trade to access information on Australia’s leading golf courses and iconic golf tourism experiences.
Great Golf Courses is a private entity that works closely with tourism partners including Tourism Australia and the State Tourism Associations to showcase under the banner of Tourism Australia’s ‘Best of Australia’ umbrella, which packages and promotes Australia’s best tourism experiences, whether that be luxury lodges, golf or wine.
Accor is the largest operator of golf resorts in Australia, with a network of 13 golf resorts in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Four of the courses will become associate courses of the Great Golf Courses collection, while GGC clients will receive preferential deals at Accor hotels across the country.
The partnership will involve the two groups promoting and selling golf itineraries in a wide range of potential markets, including the Americas, Europe and particularly Asia, where Accor is the largest hotel operator.
Accor and GGC will develop itineraries for golf enthusiasts providing an opportunity for individuals, incentive groups and special events to combine the best of golf with outstanding resorts and destinations.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said that Great Golf Courses of Australia had come a long way since its launch 18 months ago and the new partnership with Accor represented a key milestone.
“Accor represents an excellent playing partner for Great Golf Courses of Australia – not only are they one of the leading hotel groups in Australia, but they also boast some of the country’s top golf courses, alongside quality accommodation,” he said.
“Bookings through Great Golf Courses of Australia are already running at 200 rounds a month, with group bookings from China, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, USA, Japan, UK, Denmark, Germany, and even Finland.
“Accor will undoubtedly take this to a new level. This is an ideal match up and one which I think has the potential to further integrate golf into the broader, visitor experience,” McEvoy said.
Elizabeth Sattler, Chief Executive Officer for Great Golf Courses of Australia, said that Australia had all the attributes to become one of the world’s leading golf tourism destinations.
“Australia boasts a very high quality of golf product and some of the most visually spectacular courses in the world,” Sattler said.
“The diversity of Australia’s courses from the legendary designs of Dr. Alister Mackenzie to luxurious golf and spa resorts are indicative of the high quality golf experience that Australia as a destination can offer the international golfer.
“We are very pleased to have the support of Tourism Australia and the various State tourism bodies, who have been very proactive in promoting golf to key markets for Australia.”
Accor Pacific Vice President, Simon McGrath, said that the partnership will provide great opportunities to attract new, high yielding business to Australia.
“We have built up significant international business for our network of golfing resorts over the years, and with our new partnership with Great Golf Courses of Australia I believe we have the capability of growing this business substantially,” he said.
“We will particularly look at emerging markets such as China, because over 40 of our hotels and resorts in Australia have introduced the China Optimum Service Standards program making them very popular with Chinese travelers.
“There are a number of other Asian markets that are showing encouraging potential, while we will also continue to target traditional golfing markets such as the US, UK, Europe and Japan.
“The Great Golf Courses of Australia program is indicative of the increasing diversification of Australia’s inbound product.
“Discerning travelers are looking for high quality product with seamless itineraries and backed by outstanding service, and we are confident that our partnership with GGC will deliver a highly attractive golf and tourism experience.”