Members, partners and friends of the IGTOA gathered in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands for the first in-person Irish golf tourism industry event in 18 months.

The Ireland Golf Tour Operators Association and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Golf Challenge and Business Networking Dinner – in association with Fáilte Ireland – took place on October 28th in the gorgeous Glasson Lakehouse, Westmeath.

And there were many happy, long-overdue reunions during a memorable day spent at the recently remodelled retreat on the banks of Lough Ree.

But it was also an occasion for industry colleagues to share the plans and ideas that will power a full and lasting recovery for golf tourism in Ireland.

And Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, a tourism region set around the River Shannon, is primed to play a major role in bringing international golfers back to The Emerald Isle.

In what was the first of several planned initiatives to showcase the heartlands’ golf offering to national and international tour suppliers, the event featured presentations from seven members of its golf community.

Speaking at Glasson Lakehouse, IGTOA Charmain, Denis Kane, said:

On behalf of the IGTOA, I want to thank our members and business partners for supporting and attending the Ireland Golf Tour Operators­ Association and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Golf Challenge and Business Networking Dinner in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland. I am confident that this will be the first of many successful endeavours.”

Indeed, Glasson provided the perfect setting to highlight the world-class product available to travelling golfers who explore Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

The Golf Challenge was played on the resort’s resident parkland, and participants got to sample the outstanding updates David Jones made to Christy O’Connor Jnr’s original design. Needless to say, there were a few hairy moments on the new dogleg 18th!

John Shortt of Irish Golfer was among those who partook, and you can read his thoughts here.

IGTOA Virtual Networking Conference (October 11th & 12th)

October was certainly a busy month for the IGTOA. Before heading to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, we hosted our second – and hopefully final – Virtual Networking Conference.

And with more than 600 meetings held across two days, the 79 companies and sponsors who attended had plenty of opportunities to discuss future collaborations and partnerships.