The sixth Asia Golf Tourism Convention presents an unparalleled opportunity for the south-central city of Danang to unlock its golf tourism potential.
New destination for golf in Vietnam
Danang’s rapidly growing hospitality market is spurring real estate development, especially in upscale resorts and luxury accommodation like InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Premier Village, Hyatt Regency, Furama Danang, and Pullman Danang.
The city is fast emerging as a new destination for tourists in Asia. The year 2016 saw 5.5 million travellers visit the city, of which 1.6 million were inbound tourists. Many new tourism products have been developed to attract tourists to the city. Among them, golf offers Danang a unique selling point to keep tourists coming back.
Danang is one of the best locations for golf courses thanks to its dry climate and diverse landscape. The long stretch of clear sand beach is ideal for seaside golf developments like Montgomerie Links Vietnam and BRG Danang Golf Resort. Meanwhile, the mountain terrain creates unique experiences for Ba Na Hills Golf Club. All three of these golf courses received awards from international magazines, contributing to the popularity of the local golf industry.
Montgomerie Links Vietnam is located midway between Hoi An and Danang, a mere 15-minute drive from Danang International Airport. Eight-time European Order of Merit winner and 2010 Ryder Cup-winning captain, Colin Montgomerie, designed the beautifully presented links-style course. Acclaimed by local and visiting golfers alike, it is challenging enough to test the best players, while being eminently playable and enjoyable for mid and higher handicappers.
BRG Danang Golf Resort opened in 2010 and immediately leapt to fame. It is recognised as one of the 15 best new courses in the world by USA Golf magazine. The Dunes Course is built on the sandy loam soil of Danang Beach. Here, along Vietnam’s “golf coast” and amid a seaside landscape almost identical to what the world’s first courses were carved from, an experience was crafted as much by mother nature as it was by the legendary Great White Shark, Greg Norman.
Meanwhile, Ba Na Hills Golf Club, owned by Sun Group and managed by IMG, is located along Ba Na-Suoi Mo, the only road to Ba Na Hills complex. The club sits at the foot of a towering mountain range, on a hilly piece of terrain accentuated by lakes, streams, and lush vegetation. Among the course’s standout features are its flexibility – the course can play long, short, or anywhere in between, thanks to five sets of tee boxes – and its views. In particular, visitors can play at night because the course is fully equipped with a lighting system.
New opportunities arise
Danang has some of the finest golfing assets in Vietnam and a growing number of high-end hospitality developments. It is no surprise that more overseas golfers will visit the city in the coming time. The value of the local golf tourism sector is expected to grow enormously after the Asia Golf Tourism Convention 2017 (AGTC) takes place from May 7-13.
AGTC is without a doubt the premier golf travel event in the Asia Pacific region, and Vietnam, the highest trending golf destination in Asia at the moment, will attract a record number of golf tour operators from around the world, along with golf travel suppliers from every golf destination in the Asia Pacific.
Peter Walton, chairman of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) and the organiser of the event said that most golfers are businessmen and investors. The golfing visitors often spend more than six times the daily amount of average visitors.
Also, golf tourism attracts visitors year-round, so it does not depend on peak and off-seasons. Thus, golf tourism not only brings more added-value, but also creates sustainability in the business realm.
According to the IAGTO research in 2016, the four golfing assets in Danang earned a total revenue of $40 million, contributing 35 per cent to the city’s budget.
AGTC 2017 is expected to boost the local golf tourism industry by 25 per cent in the next few years, promoting sustainable growth in the market. Danang is planning more golf developments, which places huge importance on promoting the city as the emerging golf destination to the global marketplace.
Provincial People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho said that AGTC 2017 is the first step for the city to implement a high-end tourism segment.
“We want companies and people to capitalise on this upward trend to promote the city’s tourism,” Tho said.
He said that with the gathering of golfers from 36 nations, the event is expected to broadcast the beauty of Danang to the rest of the world. In addition, the city will also improve its infrastructure before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in November.
By Ngoc Tan
The article "Golf could drive Danang tourism beyond fairway" was originally published on http://www.vir.com.vn/golf-could-drive-danang-tourism-beyond-fairway.html