This is the second part of our report outlining the conclusions of a survey we held among international golfing clients in early-September. The survey was conducted by personal email invitation to verified clients, and attracted 1,000 replies from clients in 28 countries (74% of them European). We explained some of the technical aspects in the first part and in the complete survey report.
In that initial report we analysed data in reference to cancellations, while here in the second part we compare the conclusions that can be drawn when it comes to respondents’ perception of Spain’s diverse destinations, as well as the key measures they take into account when assessing our bookings.
This is one of the initial conclusions drawn from a survey we held among international golfing clients, with the aim of learning how bookings had been affected this year – as well as determining medium-term travel plans and the current perception of Spain’s main destinations.
The survey was conducted by personal email invitation to verified clients, and the preliminary results are based on 1,000 replies from clients in 28 countries (74% of them European) from 20 August.
It should be borne in mind that autumn and spring are the golfing high seasons in Spain and – although there are no official figures for golf’s impact on the economy and tourism sector – it is estimated that the market generates €2,400 million in directly related business revenue and 2.6 million tourists a year. Spain is the premier golf destination in Europe, with an estimated market share of 35%. A total of 28% of those surveyed indicated that they make more than three getaways a year to Spain or Portugal to play golf.
We want you to continue travelling, playing golf and enjoying all our services without any financial loss. In these post-coronavirus times, travel insurance is becoming more important than ever – especially as it has to cover cancellations, infections, quarantines, etc., due to the virus.
We have been studying and comparing various travel insurance options that cover these aspects related to COVID-19, and we have incorporated the possibility of contracting coverage with all our bookings.
Here we highlight two travel insurance options with COVID-19 coverage…
- Holiday COVID (national):
- Travel cancellation costs up to €900
- Medical assistance up to €1,500
- Including reasons for contracting COVID-19 before travelling or during trip
- Repatriation due to airline bankruptcy
- Refund for cancelled holiday
- Coverage for pets
- Substitute vehicle for accident/breakdown
- Sending professional driver
- Coverage of sporting and adventure activities
- From €9.55/person
- Force majeure à la carte – free withdrawal:
- Travel cancellation costs up to €600
- Medical assistance up to €10.000
- Cancelled holiday up to €3,000
- Valid for sport-tourism and/or adventure activities
- Includes coverage for COVID-19 assistance
- From €30.56/person
- Holiday COVID (national):
You can take out either insurance coverage at the end of your booking process but bear in mind that it is essential to request them at the time you make your golf reservation. We will include the price in the quote and we will contract the insurance coverage when you confirm your reservation. If you require any specific coverage, do not hesitate to contact us and we will recommend the insurance that best suits your needs.
Remember, in any event, that we also offer our new “Super Flexible” options, with free cancellation until the last moment.
You need to start thinking now about a golf trip – true?
We realise that, and to help you research and book your autumn golf getaway we’ve set ourselves to work to prepare offers which, as a main criteria, provide flexible cancellation terms.
New Superflexible Category
Our new SUPERFLEXIBLE category only includes offers that allow you to make a cancellation*, for whatever reason, no questions asked, just a few days before your scheduled arrival date. In some cases, up to 24 hours before.
Defining cancellations for reasons related to COVID-19
Furthermore, we have created a reference document outlining in great detail any cancellation terms related to your own case of COVID-19 or that of a direct family member – and which affect quarantine or mobility restrictions in your area or destination. We are asking all establishments to adhere to the document, and you will see this indicated in the terms for many of our packages.
Date extension for final payment
We have also extended the final date for full payment of your booking, to within just a few days of your scheduled arrival, so you will not have to pay this amount almost until the last moment. If the cancellation is made after your final payment, the amount paid (apart from the deposit) will be refunded* within a period of 20 days.
These options are limited and the terms will only be applied to offers included in the SUPERFLEXIBLE category while they remain valid.
If you have any doubts or would like us to call you, please get in touch.
* In the event of a cancellation, only the initial booking deposit (normally 10%) will remain as a credit in your favour, with no penalties, for any future booking within one year.
Now is an excellent time to get together with your golfing mates and organise a trip to Spain. Post-covid is bringing great opportunities to travel to Spain in Autumn and during 2021.
That means, if dining out is at the top of your list of post-round activities, you will be able to enjoy Spain’s excellent cuisine in classic style on the Costa del Sol. If your group is looking for some more robust nightlife, you can head to the Costa Blanca. Or simply chill out by turquoise sea waters in the Canary or Balearic Islands.
Here are some of our most popular group golf deals, available from autumn and throughout 2021.
Meliá Villaitana: superb resort comprising hotel and two courses, the championship Villaitana Levante and executive Poniente. No need to travel to the courses as they are onsite, and the package includes playing both. They offer 1 free in groups of 8. Nightlife in Benidorm only 10 minutes away by taxi.
The Residences at Mar Menor: well-appointed apartments that also offer 1 free in 8. Possibility of including drink packages in the dinners. The overall packages offer golf at 7 different courses, and the apartments are in a resort right by one of the courses, Mar Menor. Shuttle included to the courses from February to May.
Hotel Puerto Juan Montiel: hotel not in a golf resort but on the Mediterranean Sea next to a small village with direct access to the boardwalk and opposite the marina. Perfect package for groups, 1 free in groups of 10, and semi-all-inclusive including open bar from 5pm to 11pm. You will discover Aguilón Golf course, a secret jewel for golf on that not so popular destination in Spain.
Costa del Sol
La Cala Resort: renowned resort with hotel, spa and 3 golf courses. Perfect for groups that do not want to leave the resort, and be able to play different courses at the same time. Fuengirola and Marbella are 20 minutes away, so transfers can be arranged for a night out. 1 person free in groups of 8.
Sol Don Pablo for groups that want to be closer to restaurants, bars and nightlife, and also right across from the beach in Torremolinos. Wide selection of great courses of east Costa del Sol to choose from in the package, 1 free in 8, and optional supplement for semi-all-inclusive, or even all-inclusive.
ONA Valle Romano: economical option in shared apartments that border the golf course. If a group of minimum 7 guests travelling with a pro, he will have courtesy on the full package. The west Costa del Sol location will give you access to courses from Marbella to Valderrama.
Fly via Seville or Faro:
Double Tree by Hilton Islantilla and The Residences: early booking packages including 1 free in 8, and daily golf for both the recently renovated hotel and the apartment complex. Beautiful Isla Cristina coast town only a few minutes away. You can fly to Seville or Faro.
Hotel Isla Canela a great hotel in a golf resort, with different golf courses to choose from, including on of Spain’s latest openings Valle Guadiana Links and nearby Quinta do Vale in Portugal, with transfers included for a minimum 10 golfers. 1 free in groups of 8. Semi-all-inclusive optional if staying a minimum 7 nights.
Terrazas de Abama: luxury apartments in Tenerife, walking distance from the famous Abama golf course. Few accommodations on the island offer special rates to play Abama and this is one of them. The luxurious apartments, year-round warm weather and proximity to the ocean make this an exceptional package.
Elba Sara: located in the heart of the Fuerteventura golf course, the package offers daily golf, dinners, and 1 in 8 free. Located by fine white sandy beaches, and close to the island’s largest shopping and leisure centre. Good weather all year round.
Pure Salt Garonda: mix of luxury and leisure at Playa de Palma, for those considering the Balearic Islands and with direct access to the beach. Adults-only hotel, close to nightlife. A package that combines golf with an urban beach experience.
Which golf courses are open?
We are trying to keep you updated about the golf courses with which we collaborate that have already confirmed opening dates. Remember that right now it is mandatory to pre-book your green fee. You can do it by clicking on each link or calling us from 09:30 to 15:00. Keep in mind that these indications and dates are informative and will be subject to changes based on the government regulations.
- La Sella Golf: May 11
- Las Colinas Golf & Country Club: May 11
- Bonalba Golf: May 11
- Vistabella Golf: May 11
- Lo Romero Golf: May 11
- Puig Campana Golf: May 11
- Campoamor: May 11
- La Marquesa: May 11
- Campo de Golf Villamartín: Open
- Font del Llop Golf Resort: May 18
- Altea Club de Golf: May 11
- El Plantío Golf: open
- Alenda Golf: May 22
Spain’s golf courses are preparing to re-open their facilities – and we couldn’t be happier! We believe this could help reactivate tourism in general, and promote and enhance the Spanish brand outside our borders.
A new golf protocol has been presented to Spain’s health authorities, incorporating a series of proposed measures and recommendations for golfers. Many other countries are already allowing golf to be played in accordance with similar protocols. Golf has specific characteristics which mean it can be both accessible and safe following the COVID-19 outbreak.
These include the fact it is a non-contact sport, so security measures can be maintained, it is played outdoors, and tee times can be booked online.
#COVID-19 has changed everyone’s life, and for us it has been a hard few weeks trying to look after our clients. First of all, those who were already travelling, and then those who needed to cancel their trips. And all this while we moved our operations to enable the whole team to work remotely. Nearly all the pending cancellations have already been processed, and we will be continuing to closely monitor the situation over the next few weeks.
The tourism sector, and by extension the commercial golf sector, is likely to be the most affected in Spain by this crisis, mainly because a lack of confidence will last longer than the effects of the virus. The decrease in sales has been absolute, so we have adopted a series of key measures, including temporarily reducing our business hours. They are now from 10am to 3pm from Monday to Friday, although we will be making adjustments every week, depending on demand and how the situation evolves.
This is unquestionably the most serious crisis experienced in the golf tourism sector in the 25 years since we launched GolfinSpain, an anniversary we were just about to start celebrating. Nevertheless, we have already decided to consider this period of “global shutdown” to be an opportunity and take advantage of the time to continue incorporating improvements to our website and the products we market.
We would like to send our thoughts and affection to those golf clubs and hotels that are suffering severely from this situation, and we also want to reassure all our clients and suppliers of our financial solvency and liability insurance as a travel agency, together with a restructuring plan that we have already applied. These ensure that we can approach this sales stoppage without suffering any financial risks and still be able to offer the best guarantees. Together, we will come out of this stronger.
The first course that Seve Ballesteros designed in Spain will be the new 2020 venue for the innovative Andalucía Match Play 9 event.
Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri Golf (in Cadiz province) hosts the European Challenge Tour event from 11 to 14 June after the first three editions were held on the Costa del Sol.
The change of setting coincides with celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of “Destino Turistico Chiclana”, the Costa del la Luz resort area where the course is located.
One of three Spanish events on the 2020 Road to Mallorca (Challenge Tour), the €200,000 Andalucía Match Play 9 is highlighted by a novel format beginning with 36 holes of stroke play. The top 64 players qualify for the weekend, competing in a series of nine-hole match play duels. On Saturday the opening knockout rounds will be played on both the front nine and the back nine; while on Sunday the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all be contested on the front nine.
The first three editions of the tournament were won by Aaron Rai, 2017 at La Cala Resort (Mijas); Liam Johnston, 2018 at Valle Romano Golf (Estepona); and Eirik Tage Johansen, last year also at Valle Romano.
Welcoming the event, Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri manager Rafael Hernández Alcalá said, “This golf course has hosted some of the best golf events in our country and it is now time to welcome the Challenge Tour players for this innovative format. It will be great for the game, they will enjoy playing the course in its best conditions and the golf course will have the deserved impact.
“This is the 30th anniversary of Destino Turistico Chiclana – a golf benchmark in Europe – and it allows us to showcase our golf club, which has been growing and getting better over the years, as proved by all the recognitions received, not only for the golf courses but also for our facilities.”
Added Jaime Salaverri, president of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation’s professional committee, “The Andalucía Match Play 9 is the only event on the Challenge Tour to be played in this format and it will help the players to prepare for similar events later in their careers.
“The Spanish players have always played well in match play and we hope that the fourth edition and the 30th anniversary of the golf course will be celebrated with a Spanish triumph.”
“Besides having the opportunity to play two different formats in the same event,” concluded Royal Andalucian Golf Federation president Pablo Mansilla, “the Match Play 9 holes will be very good for the speed of the game, and for the spectators to enjoy watching golf filled with drama. There is no doubt that it will be a great golf test among the best players on Challenge Tour.”
We are continuing our work to improve the new website and your buying experience. A few weeks ago we made various design adjustments to our golf course descriptions, which now feature videos and an updated image gallery.
Our latest improvement is the launch of a major change to our registration and access system. From now on you can log in at any time – not only (as has been the case until now) when making a reservation. This change, among other things, enables you to gain access to modify your data and view a list of all your reservations. This is only the first of several other improvements we are working and will be incorporating once this key modification is implemented.
Our agents and affiliates will also be seeing various changes to their web access. We have extended the concept of “tour leader” in our reservation process, not only to agents but also to all clients, so that you can make a reservation yourself but issue vouchers in the name of another person if you are not the one travelling.
As always, we would love to hear your opinion. Although we have tested the new system thoroughly, we would appreciate it if you could contact us if you notice any technical incident or fault – or have a suggestion.