|Vietnam holds great potential to develop golf tourism.
In November last year, the country was honoured as “Asia’s best golf destination 2018” by the World Golf Awards. This was the second consecutive year it had earned this title.
Moreover, The Grand-Ho Tram Strip in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau received the “Asia’s best golf hotel” award, while Ba Na Hill Golf Club in central Da Nang city was honoured with the title of “Asia’s best golf course”.
These titles prove that Vietnam has emerged as a leading attractive golf destination in the region.
According to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), there are about 60 million golfers in the world and golf tourism is the third-largest driving force for tourism movement in Asia.
Around 170 golf travel companies from 40 member countries of IAGTO that are exploring the Asian market want to expand their business in Vietnam, aiming to increase 50 percent of buyers for the Vietnamese market. The figure proves that the potential and opportunities for the development of golf tourism are huge.
The IAGTO said that golf tourists are known for their long stays and high expenditure, which is usually 2.2 times higher than spending by normal tourist on average. Therefore, golf tourism will become an effective market to attract international visitors, bringing sustainable and stable benefits to the “non-smoke industry” in Vietnam.
However, this type of tourism is still new to Vietnam. A lack of connection between travel companies and golf course owners had caused a low rate of golf tours. In addition, the service system for golf tourism lacks professionalism. Notably, the country has not organised any large-scale golf tournaments.
According to experts, in order to develop golf tourism, it is crucial to set appropriate strategies for synchronous investment in the field. In addition to the improvement of infrastructure and professionalism of the service staff, the links between travel companies and golf courses, as well as between golf courses in Vietnam and in the region, should be enhanced to operate professional tours.
Last year, Australian professional golfer Greg Norman was selected as the ambassador for Vietnamese tourism in the golf field for the 2018-2021 tenure. This is the first time Vietnam has a tourism ambassador in this field. With his popularity, Norman is expected to help promote Vietnam’s golf tourism to international friends.