AN island business started by two golf enthusiasts is claiming a major coup after forging a partnership with a company that has global links.
Isle of Man Golf Tours, run by Ged Power and Martin Young, has announced it has joined up with Your Golf Travel which claims to be the world’s largest golf travel business.
Your Golf Travel has begun to actively sell and promote golf holidays to the Isle of Man to its huge and growing customer base.
More than 600 golfers have already expressed an interest in visiting the island in 2013 and a growing number of deposits have already been received, say Ged and Martin.
Business News first revealed how Isle of Man Golf Tours teed off in February last year. It quickly managed to attract more than 100 golfers to the Isle of Man.
Although impressive from a standing start, Isle of Man Golf Tour’s aspiration was to promote the island as a golfing destination to a wider public through a large established golf tour operator. In October last year, a three year partnership agreement was signed in Your Golf Travel’s London offices that paves the way for Your Golf Travel to sell a range of golf packages to the Isle of Man alongside it’s 3,000 other destinations.
Since then, Your Golf Travel’s website, which attracts more than 250,000 visitors each month, has been redesigned and relaunched and now features the Isle of Man as a destination alongside their UK Golf Breaks.
On Tuesday last week, Your Golf Travel emailed more than half a million of their customers featuring the Isle of Man as a new destination for 2013.
Former police officer Ged said: ‘To hook the biggest golf tour operator in Europe is massive for golf tourism on the Isle of Man.
‘Despite these tough economic times, Your Golf Travel’s turnover increased by a third last year alone and we hope that with our personal attention, local knowledge and local contacts, we will deliver a golfing holiday that will inspire golfers to come again and again.’
Attracting significant numbers of golfers to the island has positive implications to the Isle of Man economy too and the Department of Economic Development continues to be very supportive of Isle of Man Golf Tours, said Ged and Martin.
Golfers are well known to be one of the highest spending groups of tourists so more visiting golfers will be great news to hoteliers, restaurateurs and bars as well as golf courses.
The golfing chums, who first came up with the idea of Isle of Man Golf tours during a game at Rowany, said that to get the largest golf tour operator on board has been a ‘huge coup’ and was achieved following a memorable visit to the island in August of Your Golf Travel’s UK product manager, David McKevitt.
With a lucky break in the summer weather, David sampled six of the island’s nine golf courses and was amazed at the quality, variety and beauty of both the courses and the scenery.
There was also time to visit Castletown, Port Erin, Peel, Ramsey and Douglas as well as attractions such as the steam train, horse trams and Laxey Wheel. Not to mention the casino and some of the local pubs and restaurants.
David said: ‘I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I arrived but within half an hour of landing at Ronaldsway I was on the first tee of Castletown golf course and immediately thought this was something special. By the end of my three short days, I was blown away and knew the Isle of Man had an awful lot to offer that our customers were going to love.’
Martin told Business News: ‘We were keen to offer Your Golf Travel’s sales staff a destination and range of packages that was very easy to sell. Supporting information, pictures, videos and our online quotation and booking system quickly got the sales team very excited and we are looking forward to seeing the level of interest they can generate.’
Your Golf Travel was set up in 2005 to sell packaged golf holidays. It now boasts golf packages to 22 countries with more than 3,000 courses and books more than 200,000 travellers each year.
In December 2011 Your Golf Travel was ranked as London’s fastest growing private company and 26th in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100.
Ged and Martin say Your Golf Travel’s range of marketing activities and opportunities to promote the Isle of Man as a golfing destination is huge.
Their 2013 brochure was circulated to 500,000 customers in January and features a whole page dedicated to the Isle of Man plus an A5 insert devoted to golf on the Isle of Man.
Isle of Man Golf Tours say there has been increased interest already.
They said: ‘We’re delighted to have fielded enquiries for over 600 golfers interested in visiting the Isle of Man in 2013 and have accepted deposits for over 130 already.
‘Also great news for local golfers is a £50 voucher available through Isle of Man Golf Tours to use against any golf holiday via Your Golf Travel.’
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