The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has hosted golf operators from international markets to meet with suppliers at the Thailand Golf Travel Mart 2018 with the catch-phrase ‘World Class Golf Destination’.
The event was held in Phuket from July 23-26 and hosted by Phuket Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung and Public Relations Director of TAT Thanet Petchsuwan. More than 128 buyers from 30 countries attended the TGTM 2018 with the majority coming from Asia (62 buyers) and the ASEAN region (35 buyers).
There were also 27 buyers attending from Europe and four from the USA. A total of 111 local sellers representing Thai golf courses, tour operators, hotels and travel agents were on hand to sell their products and services. Promoting Hua Hin / Cha- Am at TGTM 2018 Mr Tanet said, “Thai golf tourism has generated a lot of revenue to the country. In 2016, about 400,000 players came to Thailand generating an income of 4.8 billion THB. The average spending per person for golf is about 12,215 THB per day which is twice that spent by other tourists.
Thailand excels at delivering a complete golf experience. Not only the diversity of courses and standardised amenities, but also unique local experiences, make Thailand competitive on both a regional and global level. The TGTM 2018 will strengthen the country’s position as the world’s leading golf destination.” Pattaya’s Newest Golf Course – in the Shadow of the Khao Chee Chan Buddha Chee Chan Golf Resort will soon offer golfers the chance to play on one of the finest modern courses in Asia. With a setting overlooking the famed Khao Chee Chan Buddha, the huge golden Buddha image depicted on a mountainside, and with panoramic views of the course and nearby city of Pattaya, the golf course which is a 40 minute drive from Pattaya is due to open this month. Cheechangolf.com
Thailand’s success in golf tourism has not gone unnoticed by other ASEAN countries.
The Vietnamese golf industry is growing and becoming a real challenger to the Thai golf industry. A national development plan for golf courses suggests that by the end of 2020, Vietnam will have 96 golf courses however that target may well be an underestimate. IMG has already built 12 golf courses in Vietnam. Nicklaus Design who has built already 3 golf courses with another 7 are under construction. The FLC Group plans to build 20 new golf courses before 2021. The value of these golf course development projects is as USD 1 billion. The Hoiana Shores Golf Club, 40 kilometres from the Da Nang Airport) began in August 2016. It is part of a US $4 billion mega-resort. This integrated resort complex will have a 5-star clubhouse and state-of-the-art practice facilities.
A high profile country club, entertainment and retail facilities with a casino, a mass market hotel, villa units and condo-hotel for sale and with timeshares are planned. It will span a site of approximately 985.5 hectares. The developers are expecting to become one of Asia’s most pre-eminent golf and leisure destinations. “This property is the most perfect canvas,” says Robert Trent Jones II of Hoiana Shores, his first Vietnamese championship golf course design The Hoiana Shores Golf Club project is expected to employ in excess of 350 golf and hospitality professionals, the majority to be sourced from Vietnam’s first ever Golf Operations and Maintenance College on-site at Hoiana.
Three priority requirements have been identified for Indonesia to catch up with Thailand’s golf tourism. “The first is direct flights and air connectivity. Second, we need to quickly hold a huge-scale Golf Travel Mart that involves buyers from all over the world. The third is our country’s brand awareness through international golf tournaments,” explained Visi Prima Golf Indonesia. Hua Hin Today’s Editor David (right, being ‘interviewed’ by Malaysian golf tour operators.
Malaysia is also eager to further enhance a somewhat low profile place on the world golfing stage. International flights between Hua and Kuala Lumpur now offers opportunities for golfers from both locations to enjoy an expanded golfing experience. At least one golf tour operator from KL has offered golfing holidays for Malaysian golfers to our region with local golfers also considering Malaysian golfing opportunities.
There are approximately 250 golf courses in Thailand, with destination diversity and the vast choice of golf courses located throughout the country is a key factor in attracting the large numbers of visitors coming to play golf in Thailand.