Successful start to the golf season

18.02.2020 - 11:38

Around 30,000 visitors to the Golf- und Wellness-Reisen (Golf and Wellness Holidays) 2020/Guests praise the perfect combination of spa relaxation, golfing and tourism

Teeing off, chipping, putting, being pampered, shopping and exploring the most beautiful golf and wellness destinations worldwide – and all this under one roof: Golf- und Wellness-Reisen (Golf and Wellness Holidays) 2020 in Stuttgart achieved fantastic results once again. Approximately 30,000 visitors were able to obtain information on holidays of a special kind. 242 companies, including exhibitors for Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen (Cruises and ShipTravel) presented their innovations and offers for the 2020 golf and holiday year in Stuttgart. Their unanimous opinion: Not only was the number of visitors pleasingly high, but also their expertise, i.e. their specific interest in this type of holiday and their booking intentions. The exhibitors said they were more than satisfied that their expectations had again been fulfilled. Taking its place at the centre of the wellness section was the Baden-Württemberg spa association, which was not only celebrating its 50th anniversary, but also a successful partner to the caravaning section of the CMT.

The visitors surveyed during Golf- und Wellness-Reisen were happy with what was on offer and returned the compliment to the exhibitors, a fact that was revealed in the analysis of their answers: 85 per cent of visitors were already planning to come back to the exhibition next year and 92 per cent also said they would recommend the exhibition to their friends and acquaintances. 66 per cent of visitors used the exhibition as an opportunity to obtain information. A mere fifth of them visited because it is a tradition, and more than half of the visitors are regular attendees. Visitors were primarily interested in golf courses and clubs (20 per cent of those surveyed), followed by new golf equipment, accessories and supplies (15 per cent). Golf hotels and resorts also interested 15 per cent of visitors. In the wellness section, a quarter of the visitors were interested in wellness holidays, while one in five of them obtained information on the wide range of wellness hotels and resorts (multiple answers possible). The visitors were certainly not bored since they ultimately spent an average of more than four and a half hours in the exhibition hall. And almost 60 per cent of the surveyed visitors had already purchased something on the exhibition stands or were still intending to do so.

Exhibitors extremely satisfied with the outcome of the exhibition
The exhibitors at Golf- und Wellness-Reisen spoke about the high quality and extremely good outcome of the exhibition. Otto Leibfritz, President of the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association (BWGV), observed that the exhibition attracted a large number of interested and well-informed visitors across the four days, saying "At Golf- und Wellness-Reisen, we once again noticed a significant increase in interest. The visitors were very well informed. We were happy with the warm reception and are also very satisfied with the number of visitors. This trade fair and the organisation are the best in this field. The team work so hard and produce amazing results. Currently, our stand includes 21 golf associations and co-exhibitors, who come back to work with us year after year. We will in future attempt to integrate even more groups and will be back once again next year – the date is firmly set in our diary." Glenn Smart, Managing Director at SmartGolf Reisen: "This year marks the second time we have exhibited here; after last year's success, we have doubled the size of our stand. We are therefore all the more surprised that this year has still surpassed last year. We held good conversations with interested visitors and were particularly pleased with the location in Stuttgart. Our collaboration with the exhibition team was just as pleasant and easy. No doubt about it, we will definitely come back again next year." Stephanie Fitz from golfXtra by Invatarru GmbH: "Thanks to our experience, we have become the market leader for golfing holidays in South Africa. The four days of exhibitions were extremely positive and well attended. In particular, we were able to communicate with visitors on a one-on-one basis. It's clear to see that this is a success and we will certainly be returning next year." Helmut Kretschmer, Managing Director at fairway Golfshop: "We're celebrating our 25th anniversary this year; this exhibition has started the year perfectly and is sure to be the icing on the cake. We now can't imagine not exhibiting at Golf- und Wellness-Reisen – it's always one of the highlights of our year. We had plenty of visitors on every exhibition day and we're entirely satisfied. We'll definitely be back." Andrea Philippi, Press Officer at the Tunisian Tourist Office: "Tunisia has become a popular golf destination. The flow of visitors was very good. We were able to welcome experienced golfers from Baden-Württemberg and neighbouring countries at our stand. The visitors were very interested in our products, and demand increased significantly. I believe that we provided some convincing arguments. I am therefore expecting corresponding bookings.
On the whole, our attendance was very positive.“ Amin Taher, Managing Director at Bit Travel Solutions: "We attend the exhibition every year and always go home with smiles on our faces. Our aim is to promote our tour operators to golfers and this is always successful, year after year. The visitors to the exhibition are the ideal target group for us, as well as an important source market. The exhibition team's planning and support was top-notch. We're already planning for next year."

Representatives from the wellness sector were equally satisfied.
Arne Mellert, President of the Baden-Württemberg spa association, for instance, had this to say: "We and our co-exhibitors are incredibly happy with the successful start to the exhibition and with the number of visitors, which consistently impressed us. We received positive responses from our customers. We have held many high-quality discussions with an interested, focused audience. Visitors were able to obtain a wide range of information at our stands." Saskia Hoffmann, Director of Sales & Marketing at Casa Leon Gran Canaria, said "We have had a positive experience at Golf- und Wellness-Reisen – this exhibition was extremely interesting for us. We welcomed lots of interested visitors to our stand, who had chosen to come to us and fit perfectly within our target group. Alongside the many visitors interested in wellness, we also benefited from interacting with a good number of golfers at the exhibition. We held good conversations with well-informed customers and were more than happy with the location of our stand." In conclusion, the exhibitors awarded the exhibition an overall mark of 2. The majority of them are planning to attend Golf- und Wellness-Reisen again next year. 90 per cent of visitors said they would recommend the exhibition to other people and more than half of them were expecting good to very good business after the event. Just under 80 per cent of exhibitors said they achieved everything they set out to achieve at the exhibition; what's more, 84 per cent believe that the exhibition will become more important or will at least remain very important in future.

Shining a light on biodiversity and inclusion
The golf holidays focused on a highly topical issue – "biodiversity on golf courses". This pilot project was organised by the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association (BWGV). The German Golf Association (DGV) and the BWGV have entered into a biodiversity partnership with the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector. Their plan is to create a catalogue to sustainably promote biodiversity, obtain suitable golf courses in Baden-Württemberg for the pilot project and to implement their planned actions on these courses. The aim of the partnership is to promote biodiversity by preserving and creating habitats worthy of protection for animals and plants; the organisations will provide suitable sources of nutrition for them and contribute to biotope networks and biotope cross-linking, for instance by establishing stepping stone habitats. At the exhibition, a number of participating golf associations from the region displayed signs showing that they were part of the "Golf course habitat – we promote biodiversity" project.

As part of a panel discussion at Golf- und Wellness-Reisen, SWR presenter Jürgen Hörig discussed the topic of inclusion within and through sport with top athletes from disability sports. Rita Albrecht-Zander, part of the Project Management team for Golf & Inclusion at the DGV, and BWGV President Otto Leibfritz took part in the discussion. In golf, "handicap" is a commonly used term; however, it's not always used to mean the calculation of a golfer's ability. Leibfritz believes that golf should be a sport for all, including players with a handicap in the more general sense. Deaf sportspeople and those with mental disabilities or of short stature – the players present at the event demonstrated that golf is accessible and enjoyable for all, with no limitations on what players can achieve. The DGV and state associations want to promote this approach through the use of training courses and an inclusive network, in order to include people with physical or mental disabilities. In the discussion, Albrecht-Zander referred to the "outdated image" of golf, which has not been an elitist sport any more for a long time. The aim is to use social engagement to combat this perception of the sport and to establish an image of golf as a sport for both professionals and amateurs in all sectors of society.

Golf- und Wellness-Reisen 2021 will be held on the second weekend of CMT from 28 to 31 January.

You can find information about Golf- und Wellness-Reisen online at:
www.messe-stuttgart.de/golf/journalisten/pressematerial

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