Bangkok, Thailand: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Golfasian, Asia’s largest golf tour operator, have joined forces to assure golfers that the Kingdom is still primed for play.
What’s more, with weather conditions in Thailand clear and sunny on a daily basis, the country’s top layouts in peak condition, and tourist crowds thinned out, many golfers are discovering that there has rarely been a better time to sample the nation’s incredible golf offerings.
Concern about the COVID-19 virus has dominated headlines worldwide and made it a challenging start to 2020 for the tourism industry globally.
Amid on-going uncertainty about the illness, many visitors have reconsidered plans to visit Asia. Airlines have been forced to cancel flights while hotels around the region are reporting reduced occupancy.
TAT is pushing back against the climate of panic using the hashtag #wefightcovid19, as a theme as it drives home the message that Thailand has put the utmost effort to fight the virus.
Golfers, too, appear to be taking the virus situation in their stride. According to Golfasian, only 4.5% of confirmed bookings to Thailand have been cancelled due to the virus.
“We had 4,200 golfers on the ground between January and March, including 87 large groups of over 10 people. Golfers are a resilient bunch, and anyone who plans to travel to Thailand at this point can expect to have a great time,” said Mark Siegel, Managing Director at Golfasian, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Siegel added that clients currently enjoying a dream golf vacation in Thailand are being duly rewarded with a range of persuasive benefits.
All of Thailand’s golf courses are open for play, and there are no long queues or crowds at even the most sought-after layouts. Locker rooms are blissfully unoccupied, while service in clubhouse restaurants is prompt and gracious.
Many of the country’s golf courses are known for being immaculately groomed – even during busy periods. With visitor traffic down on its normal volume, these tracks are looking and playing as well as they ever have.
Off the course, the situation is just as agreeable. Hotels throughout Thailand are tabling some incredible deals with most offering low season rates a month ahead of schedule along with other specials.
Tanes Petsuwan, the TAT’s Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said: “TAT is delighted to know that golfers from around the world continue to choose Thailand as one of their preferred golf destinations and that only very few have cancelled their trips.”
Golfasian, a market leader in golf tourism since its inception in 1997, is adopting a measured, practical approach to the COVID-19 virus. While the operator encourages clients to take sensible precautions, such as, washing their hands, it is pressing ahead with a ‘business as usual’ approach.
It has two golf tournaments planned for March in Thailand – one in Pattaya and one in Hua Hin. Its staff, meanwhile, are shuttling throughout the region between Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
“Golfasian is here for the long term,” added Siegel. “We have been through tsunamis, floods, riots, airport closures, and will still be here after the virus runs its course.”
Singapore: Industry stalwart Mark Adams has praised the Asian Golf Industry Federation for its proactive response in taking a leadership role during the Covid-19 pandemic.