International golf tourism may reach $2 billion for the first time
Golf is rapidly increasing its value for tourism in Asia – particularly in Thailand, where international golf tourism may reach $2 billion for the first time in 2012, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The authority’s forecast is for a record 19 million incoming visitors next year – around 600,000 international golf tourists, or 3% of the total.
Golfers tend to spend three times more than other tourists, according to Mark Siegel, head of Golfasian, who adds that on early bookings 2012 “could be our best season ever. The political situation is calm, there have been no natural disasters to deter tourism and Thailand’s cultural capability to attract tourists remains streets ahead of other markets.”
Thailand’s five main golfing destinations are Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. The increase in golf tourism is set to underline the country as Asia’s most popular destination by far for international golfers.