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Florida's Paradise Coast named North American Golf Destination of the Year 2014

February 14, 2014

Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades - was voted as 2014's Golf Destination of the Year - North America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) at the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards ceremony in Costa Daurada, Spain on November 14, 2013. Oonagh McCullagh, Florida's Paradise Coast, director UK, Ireland and France, collected t he award for the destination, which has over 90 world-class golf courses offering a diverse choice for players at every level. Oonagh McCullagh commented that "We have been proactively targeting and working with the golf market for the past few years and are thrilled at winning this award for the first time, which highlights the quality our destination has to offer .  We are grateful to IAGTO for helping us to reach global status and look forward to further growth from IAGTO tour operator members in the future."

The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau served as destination host when IAGTO held its annual North America Convention (NAC) in June 2013 at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa with additional events in Naples.  With more than 275 delegates from 33 countries gathering for the event, it was the most well attended and successful North America Convention for IAGTO to date, together with co-sponsorship from Brand USA, Visit Florida, Belvedere - the official vodka of the PGA Championship and Glenmorangie - the official spirit of The Open Championship.  

"To be named North America's Golf Destination of the Year by the IAGTO membership is an enormous honour and serves to carry forward the positive recognition the destination received in 2013 as host of the IAGTO's annual North America Convention," said Jack Wert, tourism executive director in Florida's Paradise Coast.  "The greater Naples region is recognised by the National Golf Foundation as having the most holes per capita in the United States, and is often referred to as the Golf Capital of the World.  This award further strengthens our ability to showcase worldwide all that Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades has to offer golfers and their families year-round." 

About IAGTO & the IAGTO Awards

Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry with more than 2,000 member companies in 95 countries including over 500 golf tour operators in 62 counties.  The IAGTO Awards, established in 2000, are the official annual awards for the golf tourism industry.  Tour operator members from around the world cast their vote for the award based on what they consider to be the best performing golf destinations enjoyed by their golf traveling clients.  There are five Golf Destination of the Year winners, one in each regional category: North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, Africa & Gulf States, and Asia & Australia.  The annual awards ceremony and gala dinner takes place during the International Golf Travel Market at the end of each year.  This year's event took place at the historic Tarragona Placa De Toros, Costa Daurada, Spain on November 14, 2013. 

About Florida's Paradise Coast

Whether travellers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida's Paradise Coast - Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades - has an array of holiday options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, world-class golf, a thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all.

Located just two hours from Miami, four hours from Orlando and three hours from Tampa, the Paradise Coast is easily accessible from some of Florida's largest cities. Travellers outside of the Sunshine State can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which provides nonstop service to 44 destinations (40 domestic and four international) on 18 air carriers.

For more information about the Paradise Coast, visit . Follow the destination on Twitter @paradisecoastuk and on Facebook at .                             

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