Thailand aims for bucket-list status among North American golf travelers
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working hard to make sure that golfers from the USA and Canada are more aware of the amazing golf and travel experiences that await in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Five specialist golf tour operators recently visited Thailand, most for the first time, and four golf travel writers will be visiting in November to experience a circuit designed specifically for North American golfers.
Lert Narongchaisakun, Senior Marketing Officer of the TAT Los Angeles office, said “over 1 million American & approximately 300,000 Canadian tourists visited Thailand last year but so far we have only scratched the surface when it comes to long haul golf vacations from North America. Thailand is long established as the leading golf destination for both Asian and European golf travelers, and we are sure that Thailand can become a bucket-list destination for discerning American golfers.”
On return from his first inspection visit to Thailand, American golf tour operator PGA member, Bill Curtin of Distincte.com said “From the big city energy of Bangkok to the charm of both Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, this has been the most fascinating experience of my life! The wonderful people of Thailand may be what I’ll remember most about my first trip to Asia. The accommodations were terrific and all of the golf courses we played exceeded my expectations in both beauty and conditioning.”
Yash Paul Soni of Florida based Par Excellence Golf added “Thailand is definitely one of the best destinations on the planet for golf, very affordable with fantastic hotels, amazing places to visit and great golf courses where everyone is looked after by a smiling Thai caddy. There are no direct flights to Bangkok, but the experience is definitely worth the journey.”
Bangkok, the ‘City of Angels’, can be reached by connecting flights in under 18 hours from Vancouver, 19 hours from Los Angeles and 20 hours from New York and Toronto, with return flights usually one or two hours shorter in duration.
There is great golf in and around Bangkok itself, but within just a couple of hours’ drive of the city are four completely different golf experiences:
- Golf in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, accessible from Bangkok by road (90 minutes north) or by an unforgettable river journey
- Golf in the tropical surrounds of the riverside town of Kanchanaburi, renowned for its WWII heritage ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ and the precipitous ‘Death Railway’ (2 hours west)
- Golf in the hills leading down to the tranquil beach resort town and award-winning golf destination of Hua Hin (3 hours south west)
- Golf in the liveliest and largest golf destination in Asia, the resort city of Pattaya (2 hours south east or a ferry ride from Hua Hin).
But the wealth of amazing Thai golf destinations doesn’t end there! An hour’s flight to the north lies the old city of Chiang Mai, a cultural and historic hub with great golf all around. While an hour’s flight south will take you to the idyllic tropical island golf destinations of Phuket and Koh Samui.
Guy Trompeter, Golf Division Director of Denver-based MBA Global Excursions said “We have been selling golf trips to Thailand for about 10 years now, primarily to the heart of Thailand around Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and the islands. However, following this inspection visit we will definitely be promoting Chiang Mai too as another option. Thailand offers so many amazing golfing possibilities and I definitely believe that it qualifies as a bucket-list destination!”
Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry, and has over 2750 members in 106 countries including over 700 golf tour operator members in 65 countries, which control more than 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of more than €2.1 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along with regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Market, now owned and operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions, in 1997 and the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000. IAGTO also runs the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards and the IAGTO Excellence Awards.
IAGTO Ltd is registered in England as a Professional Membership Organisation.
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For Further Information:
IAGTO (North America)
Claudio DeMarchi – North America Representative, Toronto, Canada
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