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British Columbia selected as “2004 Undiscovered Golf Destination in the World”

12th December, 2003
Vancouver, BC - The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) has selected British Columbia as the "2004 Undiscovered Golf Destination in the World" during the IAGTO awards. The awards ceremony, held last night as a part of the 6th annual International Golf Travel Market in the Dominican Republic, was attended by major golf tour operators and golf travel media from around the world.

The Golf Travel Writers Association was invited by IAGTO to nominate and select the winner for the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year. Criteria taken into consideration included: the extent to which the golf destination was considered to be undiscovered; qualities that make for an interesting golf destination; attractiveness of the region and of the courses; golf course quality and accessibility; standard of accommodation; friendliness of the staff; value for money; speed of play; and climate. Other destinations nominated include Oregon, Costa Rica, Austria, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Pennsylvania, Gran Canaria Spain and the Gold Coast of Australia. Last year’s winner for the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year was Wales.

“We are delighted that IAGTO has awarded the province of British Columbia the prestigious title of the Undiscovered Golf Destination,” commented Rod Harris, president and CEO of Tourism British Columbia. “Tourism British Columbia is fortunate to be able to work with great partners in promoting golf in the province including the Canadian Golf Tourism Alliance, the Canadian Tourism Commission, the provincial
tourism regions and the many golf courses around British Columbia.” Harris added, “The world is starting to recognize that British Columbia is a fantastic golf destination where visitors can not only enjoy our great golf around the province, but can experience the many other world
class activities British Columbia has to offer.”

“The annual golf holiday is the highlight of the golfing year for many of the world’s 50 million players, and the IAGTO Awards serve to reward a few exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel,” said IAGTO CEO Peter Walton. Also recognized last night were Ireland and Italy. Ireland received the award for Established Golf Destination and Italy received the award for Emerging Golf Destination.

IAGTO was established in 1997 and is the global trade association of the golf tourism industry. Members include golf tour operators, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, receptive operators, airlines and tourist boards in more than 64 countries worldwide. One of IAGTO’s most important roles is to encourage private and public sector organizations to work together in the development and promotion of new and existing golf
destinations, making them accessible to the widest range of golfers.

Tourism British Columbia is a Crown corporation that operates under an industry-led board of directors and is responsible for marketing Super, Natural British Columbia® to the world. For travel information please call 1-800-HelloBC or visit www.HelloBC.com. For highlights on golf in British Columbia, please visit www.canadagolf.com/bc.

Photographs available upon request.
Media Contact: Ray LeBlond
Director, Corporate Communications
Tourism British Columbia
Phone: (604) 660-3233
Email: ray.leblond@tourism.bc.ca
Web: www.tourism.bc.ca