Five golf courses and three hotels have joined the Golf Wonderful Indonesia cooperative, signalling the momentum and appeal of this new destination-marketing initiative and delivering on the promise of organisers to offer international golf holiday-makers premium stay-and-play options across the Archipelago.
Golf Wonderful Indonesia, a consortium of premium courses, hotels and lifestyle outlets, has gathered these tourism partners in order to assemble series of custom golf travel packages that leverage the country’s unique standing as a golf destination. Those packages are available via the branded web portal, www.golfwonderfulindonesia.com, which also serves as a clearinghouse of information centred on golf and tourism activities in that country.
In August, Golf Wonderful Indonesia launched the site and an initial set of packages, with Jakarta as a hub and starting point. Today it adds courses and hotels in and around the ancient city of Yogyakarta and the country’s second city, Surabaya.
New golf course partners include:
- Taman Dayu Golf Club & Resort, in Surabaya, a stunning Jack Nicklaus design laid out at the foot of Mt. Welirang.
- Finna Golf, in Surabaya, designed by Australian legend Peter Thomson amid the lush, tropical highlands of East Java.
- Bukit Darmo Golf, another sterling Nicklaus effort, located just 10 minutes from Surabaya’s city centre.
- Merapi Golf & Mountain Resort, in Yogyakarta, designed by Thomson some 800 metres above sea level and ringed by volcanic peaks.
- Borobudur International Golf & Country Club, in Yogyakarta, laid out by Douglas Duncanson next door to the famed 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument for which the club is named.
New Golf Wonderful hotel partners include:
- The Majapahit Hotel Surabaya, an historic 5-star property founded in 1910 by the Sarkies family, whose collection of grand hotels included Raffles in Singapore, The Strand in Rangoon, and The Eastern & Oriental in Penang.
- The Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta, an elegant 5-star property set amid 24 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens on the outskirts of the city, the cultural heart of Java.
- The JW Marriott Surabaya, a gleaming modern, 5-star high-rise whose 25 floors look out upon the city’s most fashionable shopping district.
Golf tour packages to Surabaya and Yogyakarta, incorporating the new Golf Wonderful properties above, will be released in a few days and posted at www.golfwonderfulindonesia.com, according to Harmony Le Riche, president director of PT Panorama Wisata Nusantara, the tour operator managing all in-bound traffic for Golf Wonderful Indonesia.
“Our efforts here differ from those of typical destination marketing and golf tour-packaging efforts in that the golf courses are already here — some 170 of them — and golf aficionados acknowledge the cream of the crop to be among the best resort tracks in Asia-Pacific,” said Le Riche.
“Golf Wonderful is determined to bring in the pick of that litter as course partners, and this new group of courses in Yogyakarta and Surabaya certainly meet that high standard. Interest from top courses and hotels — in the 4- and 5-star categories — has been exceptionally high. We expect to announce partnerships by the start of 2013 that enable golfers to choose and customize itineraries from combinations of courses and hotels in Jakarta, Bogor, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Bali.”
Le Riche noted the Golf Wonderful Indonesia (GWI) brand clearly displays the strong support and partnership it enjoys from the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, whose overarching slogan is “Wonderful Indonesia”. National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is another GWI partner — the airline is now flying golf clubs free of charge.
That said, privately owned entities form the remainder of consortium membership, which also includes restaurants (for example, Negev, Jakarta’s hottest new bistro) and golf teaching facilities (the Leadbetter Golf Academy at Cenkareng Golf Club).
Tour operator PT Panorama Wisata Nusantara has secured from all of its partners special rates enabling remarkably affordable and flexible packages available only through Golf Wonderful Indonesia.
“It’s important that golfers and our fellow tour operators and travel agents understand how this works,” said Le Riche. “We have secured exclusive rates with our partner courses and hotels, enabling extremely affordable packages that we intend to sell directly to golfers through golfwonderfulindonesia.com. That said, we fully expect and welcome international tour operators and travel agents to partner with us in the selling of these packages, as well, because PT Panorama Wisata Nusantara will handle all logistics on the ground here in Jakarta and across Indonesia.
“We can guarantee the quality of the Golf Wonderful Indonesia experience, the reliability of our transport, our logistics and local knowledge. But flexibility is also paramount. That’s why we’ve provided a range of hotel partners to suit the budgets of various travelling golfers. We also recognize there is life outside golf — we’re eager to customize packages to enable golfing tourists the chance to experience all that Indonesia has to offer, from Jakarta to Jawah Timur, from Yogyakarta to Bali.”
The website, www.golfwonderfulindonesia.com, is a definitive source of information on golf in Indonesia.