Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hosting the Thailand Golf Travel Mart (TGTM) 2017 from 25-28 July in the stunning environs of Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima. Once again, the event has seen golf tour operators and buyers from key international markets meet with suppliers and golf course owners from across Thailand.
Mr. Tanes, Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) said, “Golf is big business in Thailand thanks to the amazing courses around the country that show off our attractive scenery while offering world-class amenities and famously friendly Thai caddies. This event has helped strengthen Thailand’s position as a leading golf destination while attracting new golfers to play while enjoying the legendary Thai hospitality and unique local experiences.”
The aim of the TGTM 2017 is to promote Thailand as a world-class golf destination and show how the kingdom’s courses and tour operators are set up to cater to golf tourists. The event has also helped create new opportunities for Thai golf business operators allowing them to promote their services to vital foreign markets. It is hoped the TGTM will increase the numbers of golfers coming to Thailand to play golf and help raise revenue in all parts of the country.
More than 150 buyers from 32 countries signed up to attend the TGTM 2017 with the majority being from Asia (65 buyers) and the ASEAN region (48 buyers). These make up the largest golf markets due to the proximity of Thailand and the kingdom’s excellent reputation for offering world-class golfing. In addition, 31 buyers came from Europe and three from the USA. A total of 95 local sellers representing Thai golf courses, tour operators, hotels and travel agents have also been attending to sell their services. Also, 48 members of the overseas media were invited to cover this event.
To ensure the best exposure for sellers and give them the chance to meet a wide array of buyers, the TGTM 2017 hosted a pre-scheduled appointment matching programme and speed-dating. There was also a media briefing to update visiting local and international golf journalists with the latest news of Thailand’s golf courses and services, as well as associated tourist attractions. It also pointed out other activities can be combined with a golfing holiday; such as, Golf and Gourmet due to Thailand’s reputation for its gastronomy.
The Thailand Golf Paradise seminar, on 25 July, hosted by TAT and the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), was joined by Thai and foreign experts to share their valuable experiences in the golf industry including ‘Wake Up Call for the Golf Industry’ by Mr. Mark Siegel; ‘Best Practice: Olympic 2016’ by Mr. Neil Clevery; ‘Understand Your Course’ by Dr. Micah Woods, and ‘Sustainable Golf in Thailand’ by Mr. Pirapon Namart. The session had about 135 people attending.
In addition, around 50 participants attended the focus group on 26 July. The meeting between TAT and golf courses in Khao Yai and its vicinity highlighted on seeking joint promotions for the golf segment. Also, the session, joined by TAT executives, TAT overseas office directors, and marketing representatives, provided some advice on marketing strategies on how to strengthen the golf courses’ competitiveness in order to promote the country as the world’s golfing hub. Following the session, participants were able to discuss various related issues with the TAT overseas offices.
Many Thai golf courses and destinations have achieved international recognition and the resort towns of Pattaya and Hua Hin were voted as the Golf Destination of the Year for Asia and Australasia by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in 2012 and 2014. Chiang Mai was voted the Golf Destination of the Year Asia and Australasia 2017 by 220 golf tour operators worldwide. In addition, in early 2017, Thailand launched the first ever Thailand and Japan Golf Festival to encourage more players from Japan to visit Thailand for golf.
Another highlight of the TGTM 2017 is a networking golf tournament for all participants, taking place on 28 July at the Bonanza Golf Club; The Rancho Charnvee Golf Country Club, and the Mountain Creek Golf Resort. This is to give everyone the chance to discover some of the up-and-coming golf courses and facilities in the region of Khao Yai.
“The TGTM 2017 is a great opportunity for Thailand’s golf industry to show the world why Thailand is such an amazing golfing nation. But it also represents the chance to promote other attractions in Amazing Thailand; such as, our rich heritage, spirit of hospitality and unique culture,” Mr. Tanes concluded.