Haikou, China: Abu Dhabi is set to experience a surge in golf holiday bookings from Asia, according to a leading Chinese golf tour operator.
Speaking after Abu Dhabi’s participation in last month’s Asian Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC), Dai Weina, Marketing Planning Director from China’s Grand Tours, said this year would be big for the emirate’s golfing traffic from the People’s Republic.
“Abu Dhabi is a great market for the Chinese golf traveller, especially during our winter time. Since 2012, we have been sending a greater number of golfers to Abu Dhabi annually, contributing millions of dollars to the economy of the emirate through spending on golf, accommodation, leisure and retail. We are already forecasting an increase of 20 per cent in visits to Abu Dhabi in 2014.”
Increased golf tourism projections are helping push the Arabian Gulf emirate further up the international golfing destination rankings.
“Abu Dhabi continues to impress with its rapid growth and reaction at the Asian Golf Travel Convention should give the powers that be in the emirate yet further encouragement,” said Peter Walton, President and Chief Executive, International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
“The Golf in Abu Dhabi one-stop booking initiative has been well conceived and executed precisely, which has laid a great foundation for the destination’s golf tourism future.”
Home to the internationally-renowned Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links, Abu Dhabi offers a variety of golfing experiences within convenient travelling distance. Each has enjoyed critical acclaim in recent years, helping to maintain a high volume of bookings which are aligned to an ever-increasing package offering. International inbound travel continues to impress with 96%, 89% and 50% growth in successive years.
In addition, Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club has staked its claim as a golf venue, having recently hosted a PGA of Europe Pro-Am and the Faldo Series season-opener.
Attended by over 150 golf tour operators from 35 countries, the annual AGTC – founded by IAGTO and now in its third year – represents an opportunity for Golf in Abu Dhabi (GIAD) to communicate its product to golfers worldwide.
The GIAD strategy, which represents a collective approach among Abu Dhabi stakeholders – Etihad Airways, Hala Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and all three golf courses – allows tour operators to develop close business relations, instilling confidence in realising a memorable experience for groups they send to the emirate.
“This is our third consecutive Asian Golf Tourism Convention under the Golf in Abu Dhabi umbrella, which has allowed us to position the destination’s golf and leisure attractions in the minds of the leading Asian golf tourism trade,” said Chris White, General Manager of Yas Links.
“Our infrastructure is robust and caters specifically to golf travellers, with key partners working together to deliver a memorable experience.”
The continent’s key markets of China, Korea and Japan, as well as the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Italy and Scandinavia have long experienced Abu Dhabi’s offering of golf, hospitality and cultural attractions as it continues to increase its share of the lucrative global golf tourism industry, valued at around US$2 billion.
Its many sites of scientific, cultural and historical interest supplement one of the world’s highest concentrations of five-star accommodation and myriad of leisure pursuits – ranging from the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park to the picturesque waterfront of the Corniche.