Phuket, Thailand: The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) ‘Open to New Shades’ campaign will help to drive the growth of golf tourism around the Kingdom.
That was the central message delivered by Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, during a wide-ranging message to delegates at the Thailand Golf Travel Mart (TGTM).
Addressing more than 280 golf tour operators and golfing media from around the globe at Duangjitt Resort and Spa in Patong, Tanes revealed how inbound golf tourism has emerged as a promising segment in Thailand, bringing in a huge revenue to the country.
He said: “In 2016, a total of around 400,000 serious players came to tee-off in Thailand generating income of around US$138.5 million (about 4.88 billion baht). The average spending per person for golf is around US$346 (about 12,215 baht), which is ranked as the second highest of all travelling activities in Thailand.”
With the launch of ‘Open to New Shades’ and a ‘Golf and Gastronomy’ programme, Tanes is hopeful that Thailand’s standing as a haven for golfing tourists will gain more momentum.
Among the local experiences, Thai food is much-loved by foreign travellers, said Tanes. The move to promote ‘Golf and Gastronomy’ comes in the wake of Thailand seeing its first Michelin Bangkok Guide and the upcoming launch of a Phuket and Phang-Nga version.
Tanes said: “Thailand excels at delivering a complete golf experience. Not only the diversity of courses and standardised amenities, but also unique local experiences make Thailand competitive on both a regional and global level.”
“The TGTM 2018 will strengthen the country’s position as the world’s leading golf destination. This will also enhance a new image of Phuket as a rising golf destination as well as a global sports destination.”
At this week’s golf trade event, the issue of sustainability and environmental impact has also been addressed and put into action. All delegates have been encouraged to use a tumbler in order to decrease the use of plastic, glass and bottles.
More than 128 buyers from 30 countries are attending the TGTM 2018 with the majority coming from Asia (62 buyers) and the ASEAN region (35 buyers). Intra-regional markets continue to generate the largest percentage of inbound golf tourism arrivals to the country due to the proximity of Thailand and the Kingdom’s excellent reputation for offering a genuinely world-class golf experience.
There are also almost 30 buyers attending from Europe and four from the United States. A total of 111 local sellers representing Thai golf courses, tour operators, hotels and travel agents are also on hand to sell their products and services, along with 41 representatives from overseas media who are covering the event.