George Mastronikolis: Hua Hin Regains the Title as Asia Pacific’s Best Golf Destination
Hua Hin has won the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO)’s Award for Golf Destination of the Year for Asia 2019. This is the second time that Hua Hin has won the award in this category since 2014
The Award was presented on 18th October during the International Golf Travel Mart (IGTM) 2018 held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Award carries enormous weight because it is voted for by specialist golf tour operators, who are members of IAGTO.
Established in 1997, IAGTO’s membership comprises 2,748 accredited golf tour operators, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, airlines, tourist boards, approved media and business partners in 105 countries including, 692 specialist golf tour operators in 64 countries. It is estimated that IAGTO’s operators control over 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and turnover more than €2.1 billion per year.
The award was made at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), attended by over 500 golf tourism suppliers who join 400+ pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of pre-scheduled appointments, networking, and industry and trend updates. This year the TAT participated in the IGTM for the ninth year to negotiate business with buyers from around the world. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said “It is truly an honour to be conferred this prestigious award for the second time in five years. We are also gratified to see Hua Hin continuing to be recognised as one of Thailand’s most popular golf tourism destinations, especially amongst the emerging generation of young women golfers in countries; such as, China, India, Japan and Korea.
We wish them all a warm welcome.” The award commentary included the following statement: “Located about 200 kilometres south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is the country’s oldest beach resort. The summer retreat of Thailand’s Royal Family for more than 90 years, Hua Hin has long been a popular destination among Thais. Indeed, it was where Thailand’s first golf course – Royal Hua Hin Golf Club – was built in 1924. A number of world-class golf courses, hotels and resorts, health and spa facilities have put Hua Hin even more into the international spotlight.”
Khun Suwit Ruengroongrueng, as President of the Phetchaburi – Prachuap Khirikhan Golf Association said that he is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the trophy back from Slovenia. There will then be a big celebration in town with congratulations all round to members of the local golfing industry which provides such an important focus for regional tourism. Golfing is a high-growth, niche market that draws upper-middle class income earners from all around the world. Thailand boasts over 200 top-quality golf courses nationwide, attracting golfers from all around the world to play and attend international tournaments. For more information about the IAGTO Awards, visit: www.iagto.com/awards