A golfer plays at the Ba Na Hills Golf Club in Da Nang. — Photo courtesy of Ba Na Hills Golf Club
Deputy Head of Viet Nam National Tourism Administration, Ngo Hoai Chung made the statement at an international forum on golf tourism during the sixth Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) in Da Nang yesterday.
Chung said golfers accounted for a mere 0.5 per cent of the 10 million tourists visiting Viet Nam in 2016.
He said the figure was 2 per cent in Malaysia, while golfers accounted for 9 per cent of Thailand’s 23 million tourist arrivals.
“Links among travel agencies, golf courses operators and golf tournaments combined with MICE (Meetings, Incentives, conference, exhibition), caravan and business trips have been very poor,” Chung said.
“Viet Nam should offer better conditions for golf tourists coming to local golf destinations, promote golf tournaments on social networks and connections with regional golf courses.”
Chung said the number of golf courses in Viet Nam is modest in comparison to Indonesia (152 golf courses), Malaysia (230) and Thailand (253).
He said central coastal provinces of Thua Thien-Hue, Nha Trang and Da Nang would be ideal places for golf course development.
Le Van Kiem, vice chairman of Viet Nam Olympic Committee, said Viet Nam should establish a Tourism Golf Association to work with regional associations and tournaments.
Deputy Governor of Policy and Planning Tourism Authority of Thailand, Santi Chudintra, said Viet Nam and Thailand are very close, and the two countries could share information and experience in golf tourism development.
Chudintra said, “Thailand has built values of Thailand’s golf tourism industry including variety (accessible and facility of golf courses), fun (world class quality with reasonable price), and very Thai (Thai massage, spa, and food) service and hospitality.”
Da Nang earned US$68 million in 2016 from golf tourism, and the city expects to increase the figure to $186 million in the next five years when three more golf courses open.
The sixth AGTC, being hosted in Da Nang for the first time, has drawn 650 participants, of which 240 were golf tourism operators from 36 countries and territories, for the week long event.
A meeting for 170 buyers, sellers, managers of real estate, hotels and media will be held at Furama resort today, while a golf tournament and a field trip will take place at Ba Na Hills Golf Club in Da Nang, Montgomerie Links in Quang Nam and Laguna Golf Lang Co in Thua Thien-Hue on May 10-12.
According to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, 169 golf tourism companies operating in Asia plan to expand into Viet Nam.
The International Association of Golf Tour Operators in co-operation with Da Nang’s Tourism department has built a strategy to develop golf tourism for Da Nang in 2017-22.
Da Nang and neighbouring provinces of Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue are popular sites in central Viet Nam, with beautiful golf courses designed by Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Collin Montgomerie and Luke Donald.
Last year, the Ba Na Hills Golf Club in Da Nang was named Best New Golf Course in Asia and the Pacific at the Asian Golf Awards of the Asian Golf Association, and was first runner up as Best Golf Course in Viet Nam.
The article "Golf tourism on the agenda in Da Nang" was originally published on http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/travel/178085/golf-tourism-on-the-agenda-in-da-nang.html