Jakarta, Indonesia: Northern Thailand will be the focus of the Asia Pacific golf industry when the city of Chiang Mai stages the fifth annual IAGTO Asia Golf Tourism Convention [AGTC].
The announcement that the 2016 edition will return to Thailand from April 24-27, 2016 was made at the gala dinner on the final night of the fourth AGTC event in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
It will be the second time in three years that Thailand will have hosted the convention, which is organised by global golf tourism organisation IAGTO – the previous occasion being when the second edition was staged in Pattaya in 2013.
This year’s AGTC attracted 510 delegates, including almost 180 tour operator buyers from 35 countries around the world. They spent two days meeting with golf courses, golf resorts, hotels and other tourism suppliers from golf destinations throughout the Asia Pacific region as well as undertaking familiarisation trips to experience some of the 21 tourist-friendly golf courses around Jakarta and others on the holiday island of Bali.
Unveiling the 2016 location, IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “Thailand is not one single golf destination but a collection of uniquely different golf experiences throughout the length and breadth of the country. In selecting Chiang Mai as the host destination for AGTC 2016 we will be able to showcase Northern Thailand to well over half of all golf tour operators selling golf holidays to and within the Asia Pacific region.”
Chana Pangpiboon, Vice Governor of Chiang Mai province, said: “Golf tourism is one of the most important products of the Thai tourism industry. Both Hua Hin and Pattaya have previously received IAGTO’s Golf Destination of the Year awards and I am certain that IAGTO’s tour operators will be similarly impressed with Chiang Mai once they have experienced all that our golf destination has to offer next year.
“We have so much to offer in Northern Thailand, from Thai cuisine to a unique culture, lifestyle, comfortable climate and cosmopolitan atmosphere in combination with more than 13 golf courses and so many excellent hotels ranging from award winning boutique to five-star deluxe accommodation. Our golf courses are among the best in Thailand and provide a truly memorable experience for all golf travellers.
When the golf industry professionals reconvene in Chiang Mai next spring, numbers could match or even surpass the record 550 who attended AGTC 2014 at Mission Hills Haikou, on China’s Hainan Island, believes Tanes Petsuwan, Executive Director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East for the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
He added: “We are very proud that we are getting AGTC back to Thailand. We like to maintain the positioning of Thailand in golf tourism. Two cities in Thailand have received the best golf destination awards in Asia from IAGTO in the last three years. That is a significant indicator to ensure to the golfers that when they think about golfing in Asia, Thailand is the ideal place for playing golf.”