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Interview with Lope Afonso, First Vice-president and Councillor for Tourism of the Cabildo of Tenerife

We spoke to Mr. Afonso about Tenerife, the Host Region of the 2023 WCGC World Final. A fascinating land for enjoying some of the world’s most enchanting natural landscapes of volcanic earth and ocean, the best sport facilities, outstanding gastronomy and culture.
Lope Afonso Tenerife
  1. How has Tenerife prepared to host an event of the magnitude of the World Corporate Golf Challenge?

The island, in general, is always ready to host first-class events. In the specific case of the World Corporate Golf Challenge, not only the destination but also the golf courses have tuned their facilities so that by the date of the tournament, they are in perfect condition to host a tournament of this size, which brings together so many attendees from all over the world. Costa Adeje Golf will be a special occasion since October celebrates its 25th anniversary, and this tournament is a great incentive to celebrate it.

  • What differentiating factors and competitive advantages does Tenerife offer compared to other golf destinations for companies?

Undoubtedly, our most significant advantage is the guarantee of good weather during the event’s celebration. Golf is played outdoors, and a suitable temperature and sun are essential. And in that sense, Tenerife has an average annual temperature of 22 degrees, making us a golf destination throughout the year. Of course, the quality of the infrastructure, particularly the hotel plant, also counts. An excellent air connection to almost 140 airports in about thirty countries contributes to this, allowing golfers from almost anywhere in the world to come to the island to practice their favourite sport.

  • What legacy do you intend to leave with the World Corporate Golf Challenge in Tenerife after its celebration in terms of tourism and economic development?

Like last year’s edition, which we hosted with great success, events like this allow us, once finished, to reinforce the positioning of Tenerife as one of the first golf destinations worldwide for the quality and variety of its offer, both golfing and the destination itself: natural spaces, historical centres, modernity and avant-garde, gastronomy, adventure activities, leisure, shopping… All this is based on sustainability, given that we are a destination with a significant environmental commitment, which is evident in obtaining the Biosphere Destination certification. This set of elements strengthens the tourism sector of Tenerife, our main economic and development engine.

  • How can the World Corporate Golf Challenge contribute to promoting luxury tourism in Tenerife?

An event of this importance has a significant impact on the destination. The golf customer spends 26% more than the average tourist visiting the island. In addition, a percentage higher than 35% stay in five-star hotels or luxury villas. They are visitors seeking superior quality in their vacations in search of that first-class offer. This also includes shopping in shops and boutiques with the latest technology, fashion or perfumery and tasting our cuisine in the many restaurants scattered throughout the island, some with Michelin stars. Take advantage of all the wellness offers, particularly integrated by the island’s numerous spa and wellness centres.

  • What unique aspects does the island of Tenerife offer as a destination for sporting events, particularly golf?

The island has unique European sports practice conditions, not only because of its excellent climate, with an average annual temperature of 22 degrees. A stable environment, without extremes in summer or winter, makes it possible to go hiking or water sports such as surfing or windsurfing in January, June or November. Suppose we focus on golf, in addition to that excellent climate. In that case, we find golf courses with spectacular designs and four- and five-star hotel plants among the most important in Europe, which in many cases are associated with the courses themselves and offer specific services and attention to players. And, of course, a range of excursions and complementary leisure activities make the island a true paradise for golfers.

  • What kind of complementary activities and luxury experiences can participants enjoy during their stay in Tenerife?

Beyond those we have already mentioned, the enjoyment of the wellness offer, gastronomy or shopping, the island has plenty of options. An excursion to the Teide National Park, a World Heritage Site, is an experience that no one should miss through Tenerife. A surprising natural space to which many others are added, such as the rural parks of Teno or Anaga. Whale watching or stargazing are other highly recommended activities, as well as touring the excellent historic centres of La Laguna (also a World Heritage Site), La Orotava, Icod de los Vinos or Garachico. Or to get to know the capital, Santa Cruz, more closely, which is cosmopolitan and bustling.

  • What is the role of local institutions in promoting and supporting events of this calibre on the island?

From Turismo de Tenerife, we are focused on attracting world-class events to the island. When we do this, we achieve a direct economic impact with the event’s celebration, but also that the participants of the event experience Tenerife in the first person, which will favour word-of-mouth promotion on their return to their countries of origin. Finally, the significant media impact of the tournament during its celebration is evident through its echo in national and international media.

  • How can the World Corporate Golf Challenge promote collaboration between local and foreign companies, boosting the business network in Tenerife?

The World Corporate Golf Challenge is a great opportunity for local businesses. It becomes an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties and possible alliances between these and foreign companies participating in the event, which not only play golf but can also delve into the future options that this interaction offers them. This direct contact with hotels, golf courses, etc., allows us to delve into possible future MICE meetings or the organisation of golf tournaments.