Following immediately on from the success of the two first tournaments, the organisers of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open are already working on the next one, which will again be held on the superb course at the Heritage Golf Club on the Domaine de Bel Ombre.
Jeunghun Wang, winner of the second
AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
photos : csbo | rogers image bank
The flagship Indian Ocean golf and sports event, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, sanctioned by three major tours – the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour, is aiming even higher for its 2017 event, which will once again be played in the midst of the spectacular and unspoilt South of Mauritius.
With the main sponsors already lined up, golf enthusiasts can look forward to a great tournament, funded with at least a million euros. The main change planned for next year is the holding of the event in November rather than in May, in order to increase the number and quality of players from the three main tours. This will in turn give added visibility to the event.
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will thus become the inaugural event of the 2018 season Race to Dubai, which replaced the European Tour’s Order of Merit in 2009. The competition will also allow participants to gain points towards their world rankings, as well as for the Sunshine Tour’s Chase to the Investec Cup.
There was widespread media coverage of the second AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, which saw the historic victory of the young South Korean, Jeunghun Wang (see inset). Coverage of the competition, with four rounds held over four days at the Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita Mauritius, reached more than 400 million households around the world from 12 to 15 May 2016.
Apart from broadcasts on forty independent channels over three continents, mention of the event was made in some thousand articles published on line in about thirty countries. The tournament also featured widely on such social media sites as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The competition’s strong international media coverage also contributed greatly to enhancing Mauritius’ positioning as a premier golf destination, while also promoting business and leisure tourism. Golf is a sport that generates considerable returns as the world golfing tourism market is worth an annual €13 billion, with some 5 to 10% of the world’s 56 million golfers travelling abroad, according to figures released by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
In Mauritius, golf accounts for some 6% of tourist arrivals and 550 to 600 direct jobs as well as 200 to 300 indirect ones. Golfers also spend 20 to 25% more than the average tourist. For the Heritage Golf Club alone, the number of games played has increased significantly since the first AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in 2015.
ACHIEVING EVEN GREATER IMPACT
A Rogers initiative, implemented through the Heritage Golf Club, Heritage Resorts, Villas Valriche and other Group subsidiaries, the event also relies on the support of prominent partners such as the AfrAsia Bank, Air Mauritius, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and the Mauritius Golf Federation. In the space of
just two years, the tournament has built up a considerable reputation.
“It’s got off to an excellent start and, to ensure that the results so far can be sustained, we need to give it permanence and always set the bar higher, so that it becomes unmissable, the leading tournament on the three major tours involved,” explains Philippe Espitalier-Noël, Rogers’ CEO. “This year’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open really lived up to expectations so that it is with quite legitimate impatience that we are looking forward to next year’s, which promises to be just as exciting.”
JEUNGHUN WANG ENTERS THE HISTORY BOOKS
At only 20, the South Korean, Jeunghun Wang, secured a historic victory in the European Tour in winning the second AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. In doing so, he became the youngest ever golfer to win two tournaments in a row on the circuit, having won the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco the previous week. Since Rory McIlroy in 2014, no other player had won two competitions in a row on the European Tour either. Indeed, Wang, who had taken part in the inaugural edition on the Heritage Golf Club course in 2015, showed impressive mental control in beating the Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman thanks to a birdie at the final hole.