Daily Golf Journal Interview Series- Interview #4
We caught up with JP Sousa, General Manage at Benamor Golf
What are your expectations of the season?
We have very low expectations for the rest of this current season at Benamor. Reopened in May for members only. We are only expecting tourist golfers in September/October and November but not to the same levels of previous years around that time. However, there are a number of factors which could change between now and then eg a vaccine found, but many golfers will still not travel due to future financial worries and work issues. JP believes that there will only be shoots of recovery from March next year; with perhaps the same numbers in 2019 only being realised again in 2022. He obviously hopes that recovery will come faster but we need to be realistic. All of it takes time but that’s why Portugal came up with the Clean & Clear campaign to protect and build a safe environment not just at golf clubs but at all tourist areas. Life will return to normal but not in the same way for the entire tourism industry.
Benamor identifies itself as a family golf course, it’s still a challenge but its not a tough golf course so its friendly for the mid and high handicappers. Membership has varied over the last few years. Its of course still commercial but it’s a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Around 400 members with annual memberships, 3 month memberships and even 1 month memberships. It’s very attractive to the Scandinavian market but all golfers are immediately made to feel at home at Benamor. Members are encouraged to bring family and friends and use the facilities at the club. Benamor Classic Tournaments are played throughout the year and some events incorporate a gastronomic with wine experience. These social events are hoping to go ahead again in September. The focus is to show off the fabulous food and wine qualities of Portugal.
New promotions for summer memberships are being launched.
JP worked every day and travelled from Quarteira daily to Benamor with permission letter to show to the authorities. Had good family time during Lockdown spending time cooking at home etc. JP has a family run Hostel & Suites in Quarteira called Conii www.coniihostel.com The only real stress he felt during lockdown was that the Country’s Economy had in fact virtually shut down.
Has a degree in financial management and a post grad in regional economy and local development. He is also involved as a member of the board of the Portuguese golf federation and a member of the Algarve tourism board. In the past also president of the golf managers association of Portugal. His hostel is now hoping to attract some golfers to stay and play golf locally.