Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Việt Nam has 32 golf courses nationwide, and 60 others are planned, but golf tourism has yet to take off due to poor connections among travel agencies and golf tour operators.
Deputy Head of Việt Nam National Tourism Administration, Ngô Hoài Chung made the statement at an international forum on golf tourism during the sixth Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) in Đà Nẵng yesterday.
Chung said golfers accounted for a mere 0.5 per cent of the 10 million tourists visiting Việt 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.
“Việt 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 Việt Nam is modest in comparison to Indonesia (152 golf courses), Malaysia (230) and Thailand (253).
He said central coastal provinces of Thừa Thiên-Huế, Nha Trang and Đà Nẵng would be ideal places for golf course development.
Lê Văn Kiểm, vice chairman of Việt Nam Olympic committee, said Việt 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 Việt 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.”
Đà Nẵng 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 Đà Nẵng 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 Bà Nà Hills Golf Club in Đà Nẵng, Montgomerie Links in Quảng Nam and Laguna Golf Lăng Cô in Thừa Thiên-Huế on May 10-12.
According to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, 169 golf tourism companies operating in Asia plan to expand into Việt Nam.
The International Association of Golf Tour Operators in co-operation with Đà Nẵng’s Tourism department has built a strategy to develop golf tourism for Đà Nẵng in 2017-22.
Đà Nẵng and neighbouring provinces of Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên-Huế are popular sites in central Việt Nam, with beautiful golf courses designed by Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Collin Montgomerie and Luke Donald.
Last year, the Bà Nà Hills Golf Club in Đà Nẵng 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 Việt Nam. — VNS