Golf tourism to get into full swing soon

Corporate December 20, 2011 00:00

By SUCHAT SRITAMA
THE NATION

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand will kick off golf activities this month and next year as part of its effort to revitalise tourism after the flooding.



Thawatchai Arunyik, deputy TAT governor for domestic marketing, said the authority and seven golf courses in Bangkok and nearby provinces would host “Amazing Swing Paradise Thailand” this Friday.

The event is expected to help rebuild the golf business after the sector was hit hard by the inundation, which damaged 40 golf courses, mostly in Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi. About 10 courses focused on foreign golfers.

He said 18 operators had shut down their business since the floods as they need heavy rebuilding, in some cases requiring up to nine months for renovations.

“More than 15,000 caddies are temporarily jobless. In all, more than 5,000 may be out of business for up to nine months as operators close for renovations,” Thawatchai said.

Golf operators in the area received 100 per cent cancellations during the three months of the flood, or 150,000 shifts, and suffered losses of more than Bt150 million per month.

Thawatchai said TAT also planned to work with 10 automobile companies to organise trips in the provinces next year to help restore tourism. These schemes will likely take place from March to May.

At this stage, Toyota Motor Thailand Co has confirmed it will organise a trip with 500 staff members. Other firms including Isuzu and Honda will follow.

“These car companies will hold trips to areas less than 200 kilometres from Bangkok. We expect to see about 50,000-60,000 tourists taking part during the three-month campaign,” he said.

TAT also plans to work with other key public organisations like MCOT as well as other private companies to run similar events.

TAT has been promoting Thailand as a golf destination for years, and the business has grown significantly. Key source markets are Australia, the United States, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China.