Haikou, China—: Mission Hills has been honoured for its ‘exceptional commitment to the three pillars of sustainable golf development: nature, resources and people’.
Mission Hills Resort in Haikou has been named Sustainable Golf Course of the Year for the Asian region in the 2016 International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ [IAGTO] Sustainability Awards.
Launched as a result of a strategic partnership between IAGTO, the world’s golf tourism trade body, and the Golf Environment Organization (GEO), the Sustainability Awards have proved to be a catalyst in encouraging golf courses to register their environmental projects and the work that they are doing with local communities.
Open to all GEO Certified clubs, the three awards, which represent the three geographical regions – Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia – raise awareness of the outstanding work being done by many of IAGTO’s 800 golf courses and golf resorts around the world.
Congratulating Mission Hills Haikou on winning IAGTO’s Sustainability Award, IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “It is very gratifying to see the lead being set by Mission Hills Haikou in sustainable golf practices. Its commitment to preserving and enriching the natural environment, the efficiency in its use of resources and the way it embraces both the local community and its own staff was evident when Mission Hills Haikou hosted the highly-successful IAGTO Asia Golf Tourism Convention in 2014. It is not only showing the way for Asia but is also a wonderful example for how courses around the world can operate in harmony with the environment.”
Dr Ken Chu, Chairman of Mission Hills Group, said: “We are honoured to receive this award, which is testament to our commitment in the fields of environmental and social responsibility.
“In this day and age, the importance of respecting and working with the environment cannot be over-stated, especially in regard to water conservation.
“It is also gratifying to be acknowledged for the resort’s work across community and employee engagement, which are crucial elements to the success of any organisation.
“I know that my father and the founder of Mission Hills, the late Dr David Chu, would have been extremely proud that Mission Hills is being recognised for this award and also for the unstinting efforts of all those connected with Mission Hills.”
Jonathan Smith, GEO’s Chief Executive, said: “All entries to the 2016 IAGTO Sustainability Awards have been outstanding. Each club has shown its commitment to the three core pillars of sustainable golf: people, nature and resource efficiency.
“We are delighted to see such a strength of innovative, impressive and practical actions throughout the applications.
“Mission Hills Haikou stands out as a leader in the Asia region. We are impressed with their work across community and employee engagement, resource efficiency, particularly water conservation, and in protecting and enhancing native habits, including their annual tree planting programme.
“On behalf of IAGTO, GEO and all our partners worldwide I am delighted to congratulate them for this well-earned and deserved award and we look forward to seeing them continue to raise the bar in the future.”
About Mission Hills Group
Mission Hills Group, owner and operator of Mission Hills in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and the tropical island of Hainan, is the pioneer in China’s fledgling hospitality, sports and leisure industry. Founded in 1992, Mission Hills is recognized as the leading golf brand in the world and synonymous with high-end, luxurious and exquisitely designed residences. Mission Hills has been the major driving force behind the sports and leisure industry in China. Its three world-class integrated leisure and wellness resort destinations have hosted more than 100 international tournaments. Mission Hills has also been accredited as the ‘World’s Largest Golf Club’ by the Guinness World Records.
Mission Hills’ properties sprawl over 40 sq.km. They include 22 championship courses designed by renowned players and architects from five continents, five-star resorts, award-winning spas and volcanic mineral springs, an international convention center, golf academies and Asia’s largest tennis facility. Mission Hills is also the official training headquarters of China’s Tennis and Golf Associations.
The Group’s “golf and more” leisure philosophy has catalysed its tourism-related business expansion. Mission Hills Centreville and Mission Hills Lan Kwai Fong Haikou are family-friendly metropolitan leisure complexes and low-carbon town centres. Hubs for business, leisure, wellness and entertainment, their highlights include 1,000-plus international anchor brands featuring the latest fashion labels, finest jewelry and watches; trendiest restaurants, cafes and bars; state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas; ice skating rinks; bowling alleys; world-renowned auto showrooms; and many other exciting offerings. A total of six hotels are showcased in these developments, among them Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotel brands, and Hard Rock International.
Today, Mission Hills Group has achieved many milestones and become the pre-eminent conglomerate in the sports, tourism, leisure and entertainment industry. The next breakthrough in the Group’s evolution will occur as it brings its tried and true branding and golf management services to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Yunnan, Chongqing and other destinations.
Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry, and has nearly 2400 members in almost 100 countries including close to 600 golf tour operator members in 61 countries, which control more than 85% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of over US$2 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along with regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Market, now owned and operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions, in 1997 and the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000. IAGTO also runs the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards, which include the IAGTO Sustainability Awards run in conjunction with the Golf Environment Organization, and the IAGTO Excellence Awards.