KPMG’s Budapest-based golf practice has announced that the 2012 Golf Business Forum will take place in Italy.
The event is moving from its usual spring time period and will instead be held from 17-19 September, at the Il Ciocco resort in Barga, Tuscany. The hilltop resort in the Apennine mountains is currently under refurbishment, and, when it reopens will be rebranded as a Renaissance property.
Support for the conference is being provided by the University of Lucca’s Golf and Tourism Academy. KPMG partner Andrea Sartori said: “Something has happened with the Italian golf market in the past few years that makes it interesting. We have seen regions such as Sicily, Puglia, Sardinia and Tuscany recognise the potential for golf tourism. In addition, the international success of Matteo Manessero and the Molinari brothers has acted as a catalyst in attracting significant media attention for golf, in turn generating additional local demand. However, we haven’t yet seen the development of major golf resorts and residential communities, except for a few projects. Nevertheless, I believe there is great potential for this in Italy, and some other Mediterranean markets.”
Troon Golf CEO Dana Garmany has been announced as the recipient of the event’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Sartori said: “To date, Troon is the only high-end golf operator to successfully expand its business globally while maintaining the highest levels of quality. I think delegates attending the Golf Business Forum will learn a great deal by listening to Dana.”
The venue’s remote hilltop location means access will not be straightforward, though. Transfers from Pisa airport, the closest, are likely to take an hour and a half, while Florence airport is further away still.