Big turnout expected for Sandals travel agent golf tournament
Close to 100 golfers will participate in the Annual Latin American Travel Agents' Golf Tournament, which tees off today at the Sandals Golf and Country Club, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Travel agents from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Panama are being hosted at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, as the resort chain reaches out to the Latin American market for holiday, and hopefully, professional golfers.
The two-day event will comprise teams playing in a four-man scramble format, putting their skills to the test competing in various competitions throughout the tournament.
Categories to be contested include: Overall Champions and Runners-Up; Closest to Pin Female; Closest to Pin Male; Longest Drive Female; and Longest Drive Male.
Silvio Paez, Unique Vacations director of sales for Latin America and Arlenes Garcia, sales manager for Latin America, were both upbeat about this year's events and the exposure it brings to Jamaica in the Latin American marketplace. They pointed to the steady growth of Latin America market share in Jamaica and the importance the golf tournament plays in allowing the travel agents to get a first-hand knowledge of the island, both as a tourist and also as a golfing destination.
Miguel Arthurs, general manager of the Sandals Golf and Country Club, said the event promises to be an interesting affair and the course was in great condition for excellent scores.
"We anticipate a good tournament and all system are go for two days of splendid golf, "Mr Arthurs noted.
Garth Laird, Sandals Resorts' director of travel industry programmes, was upbeat about the event, noting that this year promises to be the most exciting yet.
"All is in place for what promises to be a great event," Laird said. "The Travel Agent Golf Tournament is of great benefit to both Jamaica as a golfing destination and Sandals Resorts, as the Latin American market is a growing one and gives the travel partners a chance to experience the products first hand and hence being better able to market the destination and facilities to their respective clients."
Mr Laird said the travel partners will also get a chance to experience the new renovations done at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, the most complete destination in the Caribbean.
"Areas such as the new Ochi Beach Club, Rabbit Hole Speakeasy, Le Gourmand and Vista Sky Restaurants have been the subject of much interest in the marketplace and will be on show during the event," Laird observed.
Mr Laird said that as a venue the Sandals Golf and Country Club has a distinct advantage over most courses.
"Our caddies play and important role as they are very good golfers themselves. Wesley Brown, Dane Bailey and Gifford Wilmot, who have all represented Jamaica in the Hoerman Cup event, are part of our staff."
He was also full of praise for local sponsors Appleton and Red Stripe for coming on board and partnering with Sandals to make the event even more memorable.
The Awards Presentation will take place tomorrow at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.