The coastal city of Đà Nẵng is hosting the sixth Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) 2017 for the first time. The week-long event (May 7-13) has attracted 650 participants from 36 countries and territories, of which 240 are golf tourism operators.
On the sidelines, various other events and activities are being held, including a three-day international conference on golf tourism, and fact-finding trips to golf courses as well as destinations in Đà Nẵng and Hội An. In a chat, vice-director of the city’s tourism department Nguyễn Xuân Bình talks to Thanh Nga about the event and its implications for the city.
Why is Đà Nẵng hosting this event?
The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) style of tourism has helped in the development of Đà Nẵng over the past years and will do so in the future. Last year, the World Travel Awards honoured Đà Nẵng by declaring it as Asia’s Leading Festival and Event Destination. That has been the trademark of Đà Nẵng tourism.
The AGTC is one of the important events in the city this year. Golf is a high-spending tourism market, and the city’s facilities meet the demands of this market. Hosting the AGTC is a chance to promote the image of Đà Nẵng in particular and Việt Nam in general, as well as support Vietnamese tourism enterprises in connecting and integrating with the world. In addition to connecting with golf tour operators, the conference is an opportunity to boost the city’s high-quality tourism services to domestic and foreign visitors.
How does Đà Nẵng hope to benefit from this event?
It aims to broadcast the city’s image, connect enterprises with each other, raise income from tourism and look to draw high-level tourism.
How has Đà Nẵng prepared for this conference, considering that golf is not Việt Nam’s strong point compared to other countries in the region?
Đà Nẵng has actively worked with the International Association of Golf Tour (IAGT) to host the event. The city has coordinated with municipal businesses to prepare facilities for the event. The city and the IAGT discussed and appreciated the potential for golf tourism here and have formed a golf tourism development strategy in Việt Nam. We have worked together to organise the AGTC thoughtfully and impressively.
What are Đà Nẵng’s plans with regards to golf tournaments and tourism?
At the convention, the IAGT shared the golf tourism development strategy 2017-2022 for the city. As per the plan, the city will build a brand name for itself as a “fantastic golf destination on a beach paradise”. Đà Nẵng is coordinating with tourism agencies to come up with an integrated package on golf tourism products.
What do you think about the quality of golf courses in Việt Nam?
Việt Nam has around 40 high-quality golf courses, such as Sky Lake, Bà Nà Hills, Long Thành and Hồ Tràm, designed by renowned architects Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Collin Montgomerie and Luke Donald. Many of them have been selected by world tourism organisations, and I am confident that they will satisfy the demands of golfers.
What is the potential for golf and golf tourism in Việt Nam?
Golf and golf tourism are very popular across the world. Besides being a sport, golf is a reason to travel. At present, Đà Nẵng has four golf courses. Although Đà Nẵng has yet to become popular for golf and golf tourism, there’s potential to develop them as the city has a long coastline and attractive natural landscapes. – VNS
|Vice-director of Đà Nẵng’s tourism department Nguyễn Xuân Bình