One possible point of entry for sales agents new to selling golf is
to crossmarket golf with an established part of their travel
business, like cruises.
Several cruise lines -- American Hawaii Cruises, Crystal
Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Silversea, among others -- offer
formal golf programs as onshore excursions. On Royal Caribbean's
Golf Ahoy program in the western Caribbean, for example, golfers
can work in rounds at the Playacar course in Playa del Carmen, the
Sandals resort near Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and the Links at Safe Haven
near Georgetown, Cayman Islands. On Crystal Cruises' 2000 golf
program, golfers can play top international courses in the British
Isles, Caribbean, Mediterranean and down under in Australia/New
Other cruise lines schedule itineraries with ports of call that
feature outstanding golf venues. For example, Costa Cruises stops
at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, where two of the
world's great courses, Pete Dye designs with stunning oceanside
As one cruise industry specialist, Stephen Harris of Adventures
at Sea in Dallas, Texas, notes, "Most of our inquiries come from
women, and some of them are hesitant to book because they're
concerned about their husbands not having enough to do. When I ask
them 'Is your husband a golfer?' and then show them all the
opportunities to play golf, their faces light up," Harris says.
"We've booked a lot of business once wives become aware how much
golf their husbands can play."
One of the most popular golf-intensive cruises is operated by
American Hawaii Cruises, which navigates the Independence around
the islands and offers golf on lush courses at Oahu, Maui, Kauai
and the Kona coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. Cruising golfers
can play at such memorable courses as Wailea and Makena on Maui and
Princeville and Kiele on Kauai.
Perhaps the prime opportunity to link golf and cruises in 2000
is the Millennium Open Golf Experience. Passengers traveling in
luxury aboard the QE2 will depart from Southampton, England, and
cruise to St. Andrews, Scotland, where they will attend the British
Open at golf's most storied site while staying aboard one of the
world's most prestigious ships. Passengers also have the option of
playing several rounds on Scottish courses.
Another way for sales agents to crossmarket golf with cruises is
to put together land-and-sea packages. For example, on cruises to
the eastern and southern Caribbean departing from San Juan, agents
can sell clients pre-cruise or post-cruise golf packages at the El
Conquistador resort or Hyatt Dorado Beach.
"There are many ways for agents to tie golf together with
cruises," says Harris. "For three-night or four-night cruises out
of Miami to the Bahamas, you can book a client into a resort like
Doral or Disney World for a couple of nights prior to the trip. I
see a lot of opportunities that aren't being exploited."For More Information
American Hawaii Cruises: (800) 765-7000.Web Resources
Costa Cruises: (800) 462-6782.
Crystal Cruises: (800) 446-6620.
PerryGolf: (800) 344-5257.
Royal Caribbean: (800) 327-6700.
One vehicle for accumulating data on golf travel is the
Internet. Pick a search engine, type in the key words "Golf Travel"
and a world of information will be at your fingertips. A few sites
Golf Digest ( golfdigest.com) -- Click on the "Free Golf and Travel
Info" link and you'll be awash in resort destinations and places to
play. This site also has information on golf schools.
Golf Travel Online ( gto.com) -- This site features many domestic and
international resorts, as well as information on packages and
Global Media ( globalgolfguide.com) -- As the name suggests, this
site features a host of international destinations, as well as
PGA of America ( pga.com) -- This site offers a wealth of golf travel
information, including in-depth articles on great getaways.
Golf.com ( golf.com) -- This site showcases a wide range of
resorts and public courses.