On a recent trip to Crete, Greece, I was impressed by the way local business people mucked in and worked together – especially in the middle of the country’s worst economic crisis since World War II.
The Olive Oil producers ran a cooperative and so did the boat captains who ferried tourists across to Spinalonga Island and around Elounda Bay.
They worked together, charged the same price, and shared the work among themselves.
The same thing is happening now in the European golf travel industry which is exciting news for the consumer.
Seven established golf travel specialists have put their heads together and formed a new body called the Golf Tour Operators Consortium (GTOC).
The good news is by working together they’ll have more clout when it comes to negotiating with hotels, resorts, airlines and golf destinations.
It’s a bit like buying your toilet roll in bulk and getting a better price in the long term, but it also means those better rates are reflected in the price of your holiday/short break.
The seven members are:
A Golfing Experience
Paul Cowgill, spokesperson for the GTOC, said: “Even as competitors, we have seen the value in utilising significant buying power to secure deals from hotels and golf courses allowing us to offer extraordinary value for our customers but still retain our high service levels and independence.”
Is there a difference between Cheap and Bargain?
The GTOC is adamant that this is not a move towards selling cheap golf holidays in greater volume.
Cowgill says cheap invariably goes hand in hand with substandard, and that there is a big difference between a cheap holiday and a bargain holiday.
With a combined buying power of over €10 million, GTOC members have already obtained advantageous hotel and green fee rates from venues in France, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain.
They can now reflect these savings in their holiday prices, and high quality golf breaks which previously cost more will be that little more affordable.
The consortium also plans to make additional revenue by offering golf businesses and brands the opportunity to target its combined customer database of 100,000 active golfers with marketing and promotional opportunities.
It remains to be seen whether this very Greek approach to creating a golf tourism cooperative will enable the operators to challenge the big players in the market, Golfbreaks.com and Your Golf Travel, but one thing is sure human beings have always found strength in numbers and a shared purpose.
Anything that makes golf and travel more affordable is okay in our book!
For more: Golf Tour Operators Consortium www.gtoc.co.uk