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NEWS & ANALYSIS


Rui Castro Oliveira MANAGING DIRECTOR OPORTOGOLF.COM / OLIV TRAVEL


What do you do? I work on all activities surrounding incoming and outgoing golf tours, tournament organisation and regular travel agency business.


What diff erentiates your company from your competitors? We are the only golf tour operator based in Porto, and we know the north of Portugal better than anyone. It’s our home, and we are golfers ourselves. We are a member of the Portuguese Golf Federation, and have several private protocols with the best hotels and golf courses, and provide private airport transfers.


Ugyen Lhendup MANAGING DIRECTOR, BHUTAN GOLF TOURS & TREKS


What do you do? I own and operate Bhutan Golf Tours & Treks. I’m a trained and certified guide, registered with the Guide Association of Bhutan. I worked as a tour guide for 15 years, aſt er which I decided to start a tour company to make best use of my many years of first-hand experience in the tourism industry.


Why should we take notice? We’re the only company providing golfing tours in Bhutan and we work to provide an outstanding experience for our customers. We’re able to customise tour programmes and specialise in providing golf experiences like no other.


Do you think Bhutan could become a big golfing destination in the future? Bhutan may well become a great golfing destination, due to its amazing landscapes. Golf is gaining popularity here and the interest is expected to grow in the future. At present, we have three golf courses but only one is currently available to individual tourists — that’s where we come in.


What does your team do to create the perfect golfing holiday? We customise programmes to ensure that our customers are able


28 ABTA Golf 2017


to play on all the golf courses in Bhutan. The golf course at Thimphu is a uniquely charming and a very challenging course with the Buddhist monastery of Tashichho Dzong serving as its backdrop.


How do you diff erentiate yourself from competitors? We’re the only company in Bhutan providing holidays exclusively for golfers, and have the experience, resources and trained personnel to provide unique golfing experiences. In this way, we’re better equipped than our competitors to provide golfing holidays in the Himalayas.


What is 2017 looking like for Bhutan as a destination? It’s looking exciting. Golfers can book with us to participate in tournaments such as the Trongsa Penlop Championship, Bhutan Lottery Tournament, the Coronation Cup and Bhutan Open Championship.


And what will you be doing in 2017? With our international partners, I will be doing my best to bring as many golfers as possible to Bhutan to experience the singular strengths of our country and enjoy their favourite game in an exotic setting. I’m looking forward to welcoming golfers from around the world to Bhutan. bhutangolſt ours.com


Why should we take notice? Golf in Portugal was born here in 1890. Oporto Golf Club is the second oldest golf club in Continental Europe. Here you will find amazing mountain courses and true links courses, while enjoying our famous hospitality, food and wine.


What is 2017 looking like for the golf industry as a whole? I hope the golf market stops dropping in Europe and the US, and that new approaches to the game will be developed that will help the industry.


And what will you be doing in 2017? We will be increasing and promoting our activities as a golf tour operator, as well as finding new destinations for our golfers.


What makes Portugal such a great golf destination? Portugal itself is a great holiday destination, with amazing weather and fantastic golf courses all over the country. The Portuguese people will make you feel truly at home.


What is your top golf course? My home clubs: Oporto Golf Club and San Lorenzo. Abroad, it’s Panther Lake, Orlando, Florida, and San Andrés in Bogota, Colombia.


What do you need to create the perfect golfing holiday? Nice weather, a variety of golf courses, friendly people and competition among the players.


What is your favourite golfing memory? Playing at San Andrés Golf Club in Colombia and scoring 79. Playing at an altitude of 8,000ſt makes my 5-iron fly 250 yards.


Where in the world do you want to play next? St Andrews and Turnberry. oportogolf.com


IMAGES: BHUTAN GOLF TOURS & TREKS; ISTOCKPHOTO


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