A record 220 golf tour operators from 36 countries attended IAGTO’s 6th annual Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) in Danang last week, attended by over 600 delegates from golf destinations throughout the Asia Pacific region.
For the first time, the event included a three-hour Golf Tourism Forum at which IAGTO’s Chief Executive, Peter Walton, presented a Golf Tourism Strategy for Vietnam’s Danang Golf Coast for implementation by Danang’s Department of Tourism.
Walton said: “Vietnam was voted IAGTO Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year by golf travel writers back in 2008 and just last year Established Golf Destination for the Asia Pacific by our golf tour operators, which demonstrates the progress made by the country’s golf destinations over the past decade. With a cluster of four courses along the Danang Golf Coast and two more due to be opened over the next couple of years, we incorporated a Golf Tourism Forum into the event to ensure that the conditions could be laid down for sustainable growth over a five-year period.
“Currently, 60% of our 643 golf tour operator members sell golf vacations to and within Asia, but only 180 (28%) feature, promote and sell Vietnam. As a direct result of staging AGTC in Danang, we expect at least a further 50 operators to begin pro-actively selling Vietnam in the coming months.”
Plans are already well advanced for the 7th AGTC, which will take place for the first time in the Philippines with the main convention being staged in Manila from 22-25 April, 2018.
Walton explained: “Just as with Chiang Mai last year and Danang this year, we are consistent in selecting destinations to host the event which are best poised to benefit from the attention of the world’s leading golf tour operators.
“The Philippines has a thriving and experienced golfing population and golf course infrastructure, but outside of Korea and Japan, the country’s golf courses are little known by the broader golf travelling public. That will all change over the coming 18 months as we showcase destinations including metro-Manila, Tagaytay, Clark and Boracay before, during and after the event.”
IAGTO is now looking further ahead to finalise the host destinations for AGTC 2019 and 2020 as it turns its attention to the 9th annual North America Golf Tourism Convention (NAC) taking place next month in Miami, after which it will move to Central Oregon in 2018.