MIKE BRIDGE CAUGHT UP WITH GLOBETROTTING TANES PETSUWAN, THE DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE, AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST MARKET DIVISION AT THE TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND (TAT). HE WAS VISITING PATTAYA TO ANNOUNCE THE THAILAND GOLF TRAVEL MART.
Tanes has the responsibility of promoting his country around the World and is constantly travelling to trade expos and to meet tour operators plus government dignitaries. however one of his personal goals is to let people everywhere know that the land of Smiles is also a superb golf destination.
He told us that over the next twelve months that there will be a big push to promote the 230 golf courses here in Thailand. he had recently returned from a successful presence at the AGTC in Jakarta organised by the International Golf Tour Operators Association IAGTO.
Tanes said, ‘ We decided that Thailand should host its own golf event aimed at B to B. We used to hold a similar event, but it had been suspended for several years. TAT have a policy to promote
golf in Thailand, so naturally we should have our own platform to promote to the B to B sector. There fore from the 4th-6th August we are hosting the Thailand Golf Travel Mart at the Dusit Tani
in Hua Hin.’
They selected Hua Hin as the first destination to re host this important event, as it recently was awarded Best Golf destination Asia and Australasia by IAGTO. Pattaya may feature in the future.
Over 27 TAT offices worldwide were asked to select leading International Golf Tour Operators to invite to this event. TAT are not only paying towards their travel expenses but they are also hosting their stay and activities while in Thailand too Many local EGA members from Pattaya will attend.
Golf is extremely important to the country as statistics published by IAGTO states that the average golf vacationer actually spends 120% more on their golf holiday than a normal tourist.
Tanes explained that 28 million arrivals to Thailand were recorded in the past twelve months and approxiamently 1.5 million come and play golf. TAT’s goal is to increase this figure by 10%.
Working on the average of three rounds per golfer, that equates to a whopping 4.5 million rounds of golf a year. An extra 10% would add another 450,000 rounds booked by international golf vacationers.
Average tourists spend US$150 a day, although golf vacationers tend to spend up to an average of US$450 a day. This goes towards ground transport, green fees, cart, caddie fee and tip, meals, golf equipment, souvenirs and of course accommodation.
Golf is popular in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, however Thailand is still competitively priced and where Thailand scores is after the game, with its rich hospitality.‘ TAT Research across the world is showing a new trend in golf for female golfers. With TAT’s sponsorship of the unique Amazing Thailand Singha Caddie Championship, the coverage of this event on TV especially in Europe, Japan and China all goes towards promoting Thailand as a leading destination for lady golfers. Pattaya as you know already hosts the Honda LPGA with the top 50 female golfers in the World competing every February’, added Tanes.
TAT are a main sponsor of the Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Springs another local course, which is one of their flagship tournaments. TAT are also keen to sponsor some of Thailand’s current crop of golf professionals especially the up and coming young female stars, who are now grabbing the headlines on the world stage of golf.
Tanes by the way plays of a handicap of 12 and was about to play around at Burapha with the General Manager and two of the clubs top caddies who also compete in the Caddie Championship. he was being tight lipped about who won! For more information about TAT activities check out www.tourismthailand.org