About SIGTOA

Background

The Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators’ Association (SIGTOA or ‘the Association’) was formed in 1993 at the request of both the then Scottish Tourist Board and St Andrews Links Trust to bring an accepted code of conduct to the industry.

SIGTOA is recognised by both VisitScotland and the Scottish Government as the official industry trade Association.  As such we have a seat on the council of the Scottish Tourism Alliance.  We also have a seat at, and presently provide the Chair to, the Scottish Golf Development Group.  Various members are board members of their regional golf groups and we encourage all members to join their local groups.

Aims and Objectives

It should be the constant aim of all SIGTOA members to conduct their business in such a way that potential clients and suppliers see a clear advantage in working with SIGTOA members.

The Association is intended to be representative of companies based in Scotland, who provide an incoming golf tour management service to Scotland, and who comply with acceptable minimum membership criteria.  Its aims and objectives are as follows:

  • To develop and uphold an accepted ‘code of conduct’ in the supply of services by its members and thereby assist in improving the credibility of the industry
  • To provide a forum for discussion among its members
  • To have powers to discuss relevant matters with other bodies or suppliers but NOT to negotiate as a buying co-operative
  • To provide specialist support, guidance, and information on golf tourism related issues to Government and or their agencies as requested
  • To provide a representative, as requested, on golf tourism related panels, forums, other Associations
  • To collate statistics as deemed necessary to determine (but not limited to) the value of busines the total membership generates.

Membership

SIGTOA have both Full and Associate categories. The membership list is posted on the SIGTOA web site, along with all the necessary joining criteria and code of conduct.

Members will be allowed to display the relevant membership logo appropriate to their level of membership.

Unofficial use of the logo will legally pursued.

Prospective members will require to complete the relevant application form and submit it to the Association Secretary.  Applications will be considered at the first available Association meeting and will require the agreement of those present (with a majority of 2/3rds) that the application satisfies the membership criteria as outlined below.

SIGTOA - Code of Conduct

The code of conduct, to which all members agree to adhere, is designed to encourage integrity and instil ethical conduct amongst all SIGTOA members.

It should be the constant aim of all SIGTOA members to conduct their business in such a way that potential clients and suppliers see a clear advantage in working with SIGTOA members.

Minimum code of conduct expected of SIGTOA members:

  • Conduct their business and themselves in a manner that will reflect the highest possible standards and credit to the Association
  • Ensure that the product you are selling to clients accurately details what has been booked including but not limited to: golf courses with tee times and hotels with room type
  • Make clients fully aware of suppliers’ specific policies as they relate to check in/out; rules of the clubhouse; handicap restrictions; booking and cancelling a caddy
  • To confirm, per the suppliers’ T&Cs, any provisional reservations or release space back ASAP to allow re-sale by the supplier, and unless an account is subject to disagreement, to pay all supplier accounts in a timely manner in line with any pre-payment or credit terms extended to that member
  • There will be no active or passive solicitation of a competitor’s clients when they are on the ground in Scotland; the poaching or tapping up of clients brings the industry into disrepute and would result in the immediate expulsion from the Association
  • To advertise fairly and truthfully, in line with normal acceptable advertising standards
  • A member must not use the name of the Association in any way to solicit discounted or free services from a supplier or profess to speak on behalf of the Association on a matter which may have commercial consequences for other members without first seeking agreement from the membership
  • Regular attendance at Association meetings.

Breach(es) of Code of Conduct

Members will be required to adhere to the agreed code of conduct.  Any complaint of breach(es) of this code should be brought to the attention of the Association, by notifying the Secretary immediately.  Any such complaints will be notified to all members in advance of the first available scheduled meeting, at which stage any complaints will be dealt with.  A decision as to whether or not a breach has taken place, and the form of disciplinary action – ranging from reprimand, suspension of membership for a period of time through to termination of membership – will be decided by the majority of those member companies present.

In addition, any ‘offended’ third party in such an event, such as hotel or golf course, will be notified of the breach, and of any disciplinary action imposed on that member.

Any action taken by the Association against an individual member will not preclude the complainer or any aggrieved party taking legal action, if applicable, against that member.

A majority of 2/3rds will be required to approve a termination of membership.

Application for membership

Notes to perspective members

Before completing this application read all the information included to determine what level of membership you qualify for.  It is important that you understand the requirements of being a member and the code of conduct.

SIGTOA have two levels of membership

  • Full Member, with a £200 joining fee and £100 annual fee
  • Associate Member, with a £100 joining fee and £100 annual fee

An Associate Member can, at a later date upgrade to Full Member once the necessary criteria is met.  A further £100 fee will be levied at that point.

For the purpose of SIGTOA application:

INBOUND refers to golfers who arrive to play golf in Scotland as the primary purpose of their visit. They will be international travellers who travel from outside the UK and will be booking a package that includes golf, accommodation and possibly transportation. It will exclude ‘day golfing trips’ of conference groups.

SIGTOA members have for many years been submitting annual sales figures and other statistics so that the Association can determine the value of business that the Association brings to Scotland and more specifically how many rounds of golf members book at specific courses. Providing this information is a requirement of membership.  If you don’t feel comfortable proving this information DO NOT apply for membership.

From time-to-time Members may be asked to complete anonymously, questionnaires as they relate to specific issues the Association may be dealing with or as asked by outside agencies.

Full Member

If you answer NO to any of the following questions you need to apply as an Associate Member:

  • Do you fully comply with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018?
  • Are you based in Scotland?
  • Have you been trading as an INBOUND OPERATOR for at least five years?
  • Do you handle more than 300 golfing clients per annum into Scotland?
  • Does this represent a minimum 80% of your overall company business?
  • Are you happy to supply sales figures and statistics for the previous season if membership is accepted?
  • Have you read, understood and agreed to comply with the Code of Conduct?

Should we need to verify any of the above please detail the people we may contact to support this application. By adding details, you confirm your approval for us to discuss your application with them.

  • Financial Failure Insurance provider:
  • Trade Reference 1 - Golf Course:
  • Trade Reference 2 – Hotel:

Associate Member

If you answer NO to any of the following questions you will not be considered for Associate Membership

  • Do you fully comply with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018?
  • Are you based in Scotland?
  • Have you been trading as an INBOUND OPERATOR for at least two years?
  • Do you handle more than 150 golfing clients per annum into Scotland?
  • Does this represent a minimum 50% of your overall company business?
  • Are you happy to supply sales figures and statistics for the previous season if membership is accepted?
  • Have you read, understood and agreed to comply with the Code of Conduct?

Download this page and Application Form