Cambodia is poised to become a genuine twin-centre golf destination as a result of two announcements made during the 8th annual Asia Golf Tourism Convention. The event, held by the global golf tourism organisation IAGTO in Siem Reap, the gateway city to Cambodia’s ancient Angkor temples, was attended by 420 IAGTO member delegates from 45 countries.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said: “It was very special to be able to stage this year’s event just a few kilometres from the number one-ranked UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat and this was not lost on our members, most of whom were visiting Cambodia for the first time.
“We were able to create six days of unique experiences for all delegates, buyers and sellers alike, including tours of Bayon, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat temples as well as three days of golf alongside the business sessions. Most importantly, we were able to shine a light on a relatively undiscovered golf destination that has enormous potential. Siem Reap is a really cosy golf destination, with all three 18-hole courses – Angkor Golf Resort, Phokeethra Country Club and Siem Reap Booyoung Country Club – located within a 20-30 minute drive of the centre of town.”
“Two announcements made at AGTC will see Cambodia transform into a genuine two-centre golf destination,” Walton continued. “The country’s capital, Phnom Penh, a short hop from Siem Reap, will soon have four courses suitable for international golf travellers. Under new ownership since November last year, the Royal Cambodia Golf Club is embarking on major renovations to its clubhouse and golf course which will enable it to join ranks with Garden City and Grand Phnom Penh golf clubs. The jewel in the crown will be the brand new Vattanac Golf Resort, a 36-hole Nick Faldo design, of which 18 holes are already complete and which will be open to the customers of IAGTO golf tour operators from 1 October this year.”
At the Welcome Reception, Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Dr Thong Khon, told delegates: “Siem Reap is reliant on its magnificent heritage to attract visitors, but now golf travel provides another pillar to the destination’s tourism product and is another reason for golfers from around the world to visit Cambodia and enjoy our heritage, culture, gastronomy and lifestyle via these magnificent fairways.”
AGTC 2019 took place at the Sokha Siem Reap Resort & Convention Centre, located 6km from Angkor Wat and only a 15-minute ride by tuk tuk to the bustling heart of Siem Reap. Cambodia offers incredible value for money, a laid-back attitude, convenience, comfort, tranquillity and nightlife along with a variety of great golf experiences, said Peter Walton.
He added: “Siem Reap undoubtedly stands out as a unique golf destination, and if there was ever such a thing I would probably describe it as one of the most enjoyable ‘boutique golf destinations in Asia’!”
AGTC 2020 will take place in the week beginning Sunday 29 March at a venue to be announced later this year.