Danang, Vietnam: With six months still to go to the sixth annual Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC), the event this week received its 200th registration from international golf tour operators.
Established in 2012 by IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) as an annual networking event for its Asia Pacific members, AGTC has now become pivotal for IAGTO golf tour operators across the globe looking to extend their product and expand sales to golf destinations throughout the region.
Approximately 70% of the attending golf tour operators or ‘buyers’ will be from Asia Pacific markets.
Branded ‘AGTC on the Beach’, the 2017 convention heads to the award-winning golf and beach destination of Danang, in central Vietnam, next May having previously been staged in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, the Thai beach resort of Pattaya, China’s Hainan Island, Indonesia capital Jakarta and, this year, Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
Speaking in Danang this week, IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “To have 200 of our member golf tour operators signed up to attend next year’s event so early is a clear indication of both the value of the event to tour operators and the appeal of Danang as a golf destination.
“Despite currently having only four golf courses, all are world class, offer great value and welcome visiting golfers. This demonstrates the importance of clusters of ‘export ready’ golf courses to the success of aspiring golf destinations.”
Walton added: “Our AGTC event is open to our member golf resorts, golf courses, hotels and other golf tourism suppliers from Asia, Australasia, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf States, where they get to meet with IAGTO golf tour operators from over 35 countries.
“The growth rate of golf holiday sales to and within Asia by IAGTO operators has been running at around 10% per year since 2013, so we will not be surprised if attendance at AGTC 2017 tops 600 delegates, all of whom will be looking to take advantage of a dual expansion of sales and destinations.”
Deputy Director of Danang Tourism, Nguyen Xuan Binh, said: “We are honoured to be staging the Asia Golf Tourism Convention. It will be very good to get so many international golf tour operators to see and experience our city, beach resort and golf courses for themselves.
“This will obviously help to promote Danang as a golf destination and encourage more people to come to the city for golf. We have very beautiful golf courses and our aim is to develop high end, high quality tourism.
“Golf is very important for us already and will continue to grow over the coming years, so we are very pleased to have this opportunity to showcase Danang to IAGTO golf tour operators.”
Walton added: “Based on the experience of previous AGTC host destinations, next year’s event will lead directly to an immediate growth in golf tourism to Danang and Vietnam, amounting to incremental tourism revenues in the tens of millions of dollars.
“To secure this tangible legacy of high revenue, low impact tourism, we have, this week, enthusiastically agreed to support Danang Tourism in the development and implementation of a sustainable golf tourism strategy for Danang and the wider Vietnam Central Coast region.”
AGTC 2017 will take place from May 7-10 at the Furama Resort Danang and Convention Centre. An expected 180 golf resorts, golf courses, hotels and tourist boards from across the Asia Pacific region will meet to do business with over 220 golf tour operators from more than 35 countries.