Golf tour operators from 25 countries descended on Oregon to celebrate the 10th annual North America Golf Tourism Convention (NAC). The tour operators participated in a record number of familiarization tours in order to experience, first hand, the golf in Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, the Portland region and Bandon Dunes.
The convention, staged by global golf tourism organization IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators), was held over three days at the end of June at Sunriver Resort, near the city of Bend in Central Oregon, and saw a total of 381 delegates attending.
Central Oregon Visitors Association Chief Executive Alana Hughson, who retires at the end of July after 25 years at the helm, said: "Visit Central Oregon and our partners were delighted to host IAGTO NAC 2018 under perfect golf conditions and sun-filled skies this June. Most exciting was welcoming tour operators from around the world to experience the world-class golf and hospitality of Central Oregon. We know this opportunity to partner with IAGTO and Travel Oregon to showcase Oregon's spectacular golf has built new relationships that will develop visitation for years to come."
Lisa Itel, Director of Global Strategic Partnerships for Travel Oregon, was equally enthusiastic. She said: “Travel Oregon and our partners were honoured to host NAC 2018 in Sunriver, Oregon. We are anticipating international golf visitor numbers to the state will increase as a result. The event has given us the opportunity to showcase the state’s 200 acclaimed public golf courses – designed by the likes of Cupp, Palmer and McLay Kidd. Tour operators left the conference with more than new golf itineraries; they left with an understanding that Oregon is a playground for everything under the sun – hiking, fishing, rafting, wine tasting and much more.”
IAGTO’s delighted Chief Executive, Peter Walton, said: “Oregon is a truly spectacular and varied golf destination and one that is now firmly established in the minds of all those golf tour operators who attended our 10th NAC. All previous nine events have taken place in locations more than 500 miles further south on either the East or West coast of the USA and this is the first time that we have visited the state most popular with tourists in the spring, summer and autumn.
“This convention had a completely different feel about it and perfectly reflected all that Oregon has to offer. Most importantly, everyone is now aware of the incredible array of amazing golf experiences readily available throughout the state and we are certain that you will see a dramatic increase in profile of Oregon on tour operators’ websites and group promotions in the coming months.”
Walton added: “I would like to thank Travel Oregon, the Central Oregon Visitors Association and all partner sponsors from across the state for pulling out all the stops and making it such a wonderfully enjoyable and productive event for everyone.”
The 11th NAC will take place at Horseshoe Bay Resort in the Texas Lake & Hill Country, from 23-26 June, 2019.