Global Hemisphere is a leading company specialised in marketing golf courses, hotels and destinations in the golf tourism industry. At the helm of Global Hemisphere is Mónica Díaz Vecino, a well-known entrepreneur in the world of golf tourism and an experienced professional who is highly regarded in the tourism sector, with a long history as golf sales and marketing director at various luxury hotel complexes.
Mónica founded the company in 2013, as a new professional challenge based on her extensive experience over 15 years as golf sales director for various hotel chains. "I realised", she says, "that companies which had a commercial department focused on golf sales had more productivity, more business opportunities and greater product visibility in the golf industry than those that had one person for a little bit for everything.
"Many golf clubs have a sales person at the course who doesn’t travel, or who travels very little, who doesn’t manage to sell or attract new business, or follow up leads, because it’s not feasible with day-by-day responsibilities.”
Global Hemisphere acts as one more person on the commercial team, specialising in golf sales and improving service and work productivity. This translates into more sales.
“We work”, continues Mónica, “as a sales consultant making contracts with travel professionals, tour operators and webinars, we attend specialist fairs and tournaments, we organise fam trips, workshops, events, etc. We operate in the marketing sphere through content that generates sales, email marketing, promotional campaigns, awards, etc.”
What services and what value does Global Hemisphere bring to the companies that hire you in the golf tourism sector?
Mainly the know-how of a person who has been in the golf sales market for more than 15 years, with a great knowledge of all the origin markets and a large number of contacts in the sector. This makes it easier for a course or hotel to start from a less specialised base. In addition, I have the support of a business partner, Kirby & Co, focused on solutions for tourism companies. That gives Global Hemisphere a much more commercial and global vision than just golf.
Today, outsourcing a commercial service provides added value. It represents savings in promotion and takes advantage of a greater number of opportunities. We handle 14 courses and seven destinations. This implies a significant knowledge of the market. We take advantage of every opportunity that arises and each new contact to include our portfolio of clients.
For example, an operator that sells Andalucía might be interested in the Canary Islands, Madrid or the Caribbean in the future. A client travels today to the Canary Islands and tomorrow to the Caribbean. In this way we take advantage of each contact to sell the products we handle and cross-sell. This is one of the aspects that I like the most: business opportunities that we can generate with just the one contact.
We are experiencing a change in the commercial model as a result of this crisis. How do you see the future post-coronavirus?
Hotels and golf courses are going to start changing their business model. Until now, many tourism companies have secured guarantees with several tour operators. From now on, and noting that in the face of a crisis there are no worthwhile guarantees, companies should further diversify their businesses and open up new channels that generate sales in the medium and long term. Consider new technologies for direct sales and ease of purchase, become closer and more convenient than before to golfers.
As working tools, during this crisis I have taken great advantage of webinars, which I did not do much before. Travel professionals who sell golf are convened and the presentation is by internet. This in the future will save a lot of travel costs and support agencies. Now I make many more calls on Facetime than before, previously more on the phone. Contact is more direct. To sell, it’s best to know each other.
On the agency side, they are also going to diversify their products and sell new destinations they didn’t have before.
You are known as a leading professional in the world of golf tourism, with a long career in this sector. How is your own personal learning process progressing?
I am very passionate about technology and the digital world. I am continually learning about latest golf projects where I can include all my clients. I do a lot of research in the United States, because it’s the most important market. They are much more advanced than us and you learn from them.
And above all else I am very up-to-date learning marketing techniques focused on sales, learning new formats and strategies that help marketing. Today, it’s not only tour operators who are selling: we have to be constantly looking for new opportunities. There are many channels and campaigns to attract golfers who travel, and there is not always a tour operator in the middle.
The search for new accounts, for opportunities, I would say it is almost on a daily basis; that's why we have a very good database.
The outsourcing of services in recent years has gone from 30 to 60 per cent, and it is estimated that it will continue to rise. Why should a hotel or course outsource its commercial department services?
In outsourcing the commercial part of golf, the course or hotel can focus on other services that also generate income. Many times opportunities are lost because the day-to-day operation does not let you advance, and also you need a level of market research that doesn’t always happen. In addition, quality is improved by specialisation in this type of work and, of course, there are cost savings. It is not the same to go to a fair representing one course than several. The reduction in costs is obvious and also you have access to more sales channels.
By being able to focus on one objective, specialisation is better achieved by reducing team costs and focusing your efforts on key business areas and a faster response to productivity and quality.
With outsourcing, the company has a more flexible structure and the level of sales service is improved, making it more efficient and guaranteeing results on an annual basis.
IN FIRST PERSON...
A graduate in TEAT (business and tourist activities technician), I have a masters in international marketing and another masters in revenue management from the University of Deusto.
I developed my professional career in the commercial department of luxury hotels, passing through the golf sector and finally creating my company, Global Hemisphere, to provide options for the commercial golf sector.
I have lived in several countries, I speak four languages, I have always been very proactive and enterprising, and I created the first incoming golf agency in Madrid. I founded Global Hemisphere and I am also involved with two new projects that have been in hibernation during the coronavirus period and which will be presented very soon.
Among my long list of clients, I would highlight Teeth of the Dog, ranked among the 100 best golf courses in the world.