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NEWS & ANALYSIS


Marta Casanova CO-FOUNDER, CASANOVA GOLF & CULTURAL EXPERIENCES


What do you do? We are a golf-tour operator, specialising in Spain and Portugal. We take care of everything, down to the smallest detail: hotels, golfing, transfers, cultural activities, dinner reservations and more. We are also an outbound tour operator for our Spanish clients. We promote golf trips all over the world at upscale golf destinations.


What diff erentiates your company from your competitors? We are based in Spain and know our country better than anyone. We are present during our clients’ stay and can accompany them should they wish. Every place we off er, we know. And we only promote venues that meet our standards as avid golfers and travellers. We do golf but we also care about those who don’t play. We can arrange side activities for non-players such as spa treatments, cooking courses and tapas tours.


Why should we take notice? Like our clients, we are fans of golf, culture and gastronomy. We know their needs, understand their concerns and are always there.


What is 2017 looking like for golf? The golf travel industry’s gaining momentum and we are very optimistic. The Spanish customer used to be a self-organised traveller, but is now discovering the benefits of having a golf-travel expert on hand to off er support before, during and aſt er trips. We get rid of all the hassle and can get better deals, too.


What will you be doing in 2017? Our new goals for this year include organising golf trips for solo travellers. We’ve noticed there are lots of golfers who would like to travel with others. We would also like to work on group trips. Up to now, we have been organising only private golf trips. We’ve realised that couples, and golfers in general, like to travel in organised groups to share their experiences. We will also work to attract more visitors from other countries.


26 ABTA Golf 2017 What makes Spain such a great


golf destination? Spain is a great destination because of its people and its fantastic weather. Each region has its own history, its own customs, its own cuisine, its own climate, and sometimes its own language. We are also among the first wine producers in the world.


What is your top golf course? My home club, Real Club de Golf de Puerta de Hierro. It’s a private golf club based in Madrid. I feel at home when I play there.


What do you need to create the perfect golfing holiday? We just need the basic information from the client and we will do the rest. Then we will design the perfect golf holiday, tailored to our clients’ needs.


What is your favourite golfing memory? It dates back to 2011 when I won my first golfing prize in a golf championship for amateurs. I won a trip to Mayakoba in Cancun, Mexico. And I think it was this trip that influenced my decision to start a golf business with my partner.


Where in the world do you want to play next? This is such a diff icult question because there are a lot of great golf courses all over the world that I still need to visit. However, my list starts with Thailand, Sanya in China, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. casanovagolf.com


Kalle Bergström PRODUCT MANAGER, NORDIC TRAVEL


What do you do? We off er tailor-made golf packages that include accommodation, tee times, transports and sightseeing so that golfers can see more of Sweden.


What diff erentiates your company from your competitors? We are the only pure inbound golf operator in Sweden. Our competitors are mainly outgoing operators off ering a small inbound service on the side.


What is 2017 looking like for the golf industry? From our point of view it looks like the small but steady increases of the past few years will continue.


What will you be doing in 2017? We will be trying to reach out to new markets. For example Belgium and the Netherlands, since they are quite close to Sweden. There are currently many non-golfers visiting from such countries so there should be a potential market for golfers to make their way here too.


What makes Sweden a great golf destination? We have great courses which are very well maintained. The climate in the summer is perfect for golf since it’s not too hot.


What is your top golf course? The Masters course at Barsebäck Golf & Country Club. It’s a mix of links, parkland and woodland that’s always in top condition.


What do you need to create the perfect golfing holiday? A realistic budget to work with when tailor-making the trip. Good conditions at the golf courses and nice weather during the trip usually makes the clients very satisfied.


What is your favourite golfing memory? I was playing an early morning round at Värnamo Golf Club in southern Sweden and as I hit the ball a enormous moose strolled out of the woods, just 50 metres in front of me. It was both scary and fascinating at the same time. The moose ran along the fairway for about 100 metres before it disappeared back into the woods again. My friend and I waited for a couple of minutes before we continued to be sure it had definitely disappeared.


Where in the world do you want to play next? I would love to play in Scotland and, in particular, at St Andrews. It’s an old course so it would be nice to play there once. sweden-golf.com


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