Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Travel Agents Golf tourney tees off at Sandals

Published:Friday | October 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (second left) presenting the overall winning team trophy to Mark and Shayla Gerling, Jeannette and Doug Hernick at the 16th annual US Travel Agent Golf Tournament awards dinner at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort on September 15. Sharing in the special occasion is senior vice president, Unique Vacation, Gary Sadler at right.

The top-three finishers from last year's Sandals Latin American Travel Agents Golf Tournament are among 20 teams, teeing off at 7:30 this morning in a four-man scramble at Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, St Ann.

Costa Rica, Panama, and Chile, respectively, topped their friendly rivals from Latin America over 18 holes last year and are back to participate in the tournament, one of three which Sandals Resorts stages annually to show off Jamaica as a golfing destination to travel agents from Latin America, the United States and Canada.

Team 6, playing as Panama and comprising Copa Airlines executives, got off to a flying start last year, holding a first-day lead of 32 after nine holes, a three-stroke lead over their nearest rivals.

 

Podium Finish

 

Runners-up Panama, represented by Copa Airlines executives, are again expected to press for a podium finish, using its presence at the tournament to continue growing its Jamaican market, which Bruno Chaquio, the airline's coordinator, corporate account, revealed was growing at a rate of eight per cent, year-on-year, rivalling the Caribbean region's biggest destination, Canc?n, Mexico.

Today's activities will also feature a community stop for the golfers at the Pineapple Basic School in Ocho Rios, where more than 100 backpacks stacked with school supplies will be handed out to students.

Lindsay Isaacs, regional public relations manager, yesterday said that the Pineapple Basic School was chosen as this year's community project to benefit from the tournament.

"The school is not officially adopted by Sandals Foundation, but it is one of the many community-based schools in the region that we work with," she pointed out.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett recently said that Jamaica had its best summer performance ever, with the country recording 1,312,494 visitor arrivals between May and August, which translates to a 4.4 increase over the same period last year.