Tenerife, Spain: Vietnam has been confirmed as the 2016 Golf Destination of the Year for Asia & Australasia by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
It’s the second time Vietnam has won the title at the IAGTO Awards since 2013. The announcement headlined the global golf tourism organisation’s annual Awards Gala Dinner.
The Golf Destination of the Year Award was announced as part of the IAGTO Awards, held at the end of International Golf Travel Market, the golf travel industry’s annual trade show.
It is the benchmark accolades for the golf tourism industry and the five Golf Destination of the Year winners – for North America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa & the Gulf States, in addition to Asia & Australasia – are voted for by IAGTO’s golf tour operator members from over 60 countries. Criteria they are asked to consider are:
-Quality of golf courses and accommodation
-Value for money
-Professional conduct of suppliers
-Support from the local tourism industry and
-Accessibility to tee times
Vietnam was described as ‘a rising star of the East that fascinates with its enchanting history, rich and varied culture and breathtaking landscapes’. At present, there are over 30 golf courses across the country. There are 19 other golf course projects under study and if all is approved, Vietnam will have 114 golf courses under the national plan.
Vietnam’s golf courses appeal to all levels of golfer, from beginners up to professional players and they include the world-class Vinpearl Golf Nha Trang course, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
It’s the first island course designed by IMG Worldwide on one of Asia’s new golf tourism hotspots with the Central Coast including three international-standards courses.
More domestic and international golf events have been organised each year in the region, helping to give Vietnam attention in the golf world.
Adding to its portfolio, Vinpearl Golf (a member of Vietnam’s leading conglomerate Vingroup) is working on an extensive plan to develop four courses in premier destinations in Vietnam, ranging from 18-hole to 36-hole projects.
In 2016, it also proposed to develop the first 54-hole complex in Vietnam, the biggest golf development project in the country.
Speaking about the Golf Destination of the Year Award, Vinpearl Golf’s Director of Sales & Marketing Niklas Robinson said: “It is a great honour to accept this award and a wonderful recognition for the destination from the world’s leading golf tour operators. Vietnam is truly a unique golfing destination, with so many attributes as a world-class offering.
“With a plethora of top quality golf courses, as well as such a variety of unique designs, I believe that the future looks very bright for this hidden gem. We have a wonderful pipeline of new properties to open up in the next few years as well, providing the global golfing community with a wonderful destination of choice.
“The IAGTO award will give the destination a good motivation to further improve the service levels of Vietnam’s golf product and expand the number of FAM trips for the IAGTO tour operators so they will have the opportunity to get to know the destination and increase the number of golfers they send there.”
Hainan Island, China: Yalong Bay Golf Club, one of China’s best-known and most prolific tournament venues, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.