I assume when you first hear IAGTO, sustainability does not come to your mind. Although this is the second year when IAGTO recognizes golf clubs and resorts for their sustainability efforts with the IAGTO Sustainability Awards.
They claim that they are supporting sustainable golf through their partnership with GEO (Golf Environment Organization) for 6 years, however, we can find the winners of IAGTO Sustainability Awards only from 2014 (14th IAGTO Awards). Anyway, this year there were 32 entries from around the globe.
The winners of the 2018 IAGTO Sustainability Awards are…
- IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency: Finca Cortesin, Spain
- IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value: Golf della Montecchia, Italy (Chiara Cappon, Marketing Director, and Paolo Casati, President in the picture above)
- IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection: Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Costa Rica
I can only encourage IAGTO and non-IAGTO member golf clubs and resorts to taking sustainability seriously and include it in their customer experience strategy. It is important to know that sustainability and customer experience don’t conflict. Especially, when you know that your potential customers, guest are appreciating authentic, environmentally responsible services.
It is not simple to change people’s behavior. Therefore, we should understand what are their personal motivations that going make them say “it worths that extra effort because it is good for XYZ”. There are several types of customers who choose environmentally friendly services and products, one of them is those people who believe that environmentally friendly services/products have better quality or even they more convenient.
I would say that golf clubs and resorts should align customer experience with sustainability.
The Cohn&Wolfe’s The Authentic 100 study in 2016 found that people are preferring products and services that:
- make the world better and
- take full responsibility for its actions.
- The very same study found that 88% of the customers, reward authenticity.
For today’s customers these 5 factors are the most important:
- Be respectful,
- Be REAL,
- Be purposeful,
- Be responsible (= environmentally and socially responsible)
What I can tell that 29 golf resorts that it is not the end of the world going home without a prestigious. It is more important that you are on the right track to be acknowledged and perceived as authentic and responsible companies.