IGTM Returns to the Algarve

The mainstay remedy of golf is proving to be just the tonic the Algarve needs to boost winter business, most notably in the key area of Vilamoura where the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) recently took place for the second time in the event's fifteen year history.
More than 1,500 golf specialists took part in the three-day programme, representing 45 different countries. Comparing that with the 400 participants who convened in the Algarve for the IGTM of 1999 suggests that the international golf travel industry has grown considerably in the past fourteen years. It's also worth noting that the number of Algarve golf courses has risen from twenty to forty during that same period.
“Golf is very important to the Algarve. It reduces seasonality and helps stabilise winter demand,” explained Frederico Costa, President of Turismo de Portugal.
The hosting of high profile international events such as the IGTM is paramount to the profile of a country currently struggling to turn things around. And with domestic tourism still in a downward spiral, Costa is relying on external markets to get the country back on track.
“Two-thirds of tourism business in Portugal is generated by international markets, which are starting to grow. Our 2012 figures are up a bit on last year and we're expecting a better year in 2013, with sustained growth based on the performance of key external markets.”