Golf tourism tees off in Kerala, revives spirits


At a juncture when the state’s phased alcohol prohibition policy is giving a massive headache to the R27,000-crore Kerala tourism industry, golf has offered it a robust outdoor pasture or two to cheer up. The ‘God’s Own Country’ brand is scouting possibilities in golf tourism, after the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) takeover of Thiruvananthapuram Golf Club coincided with setting up of the SAI National Golf Academy.

The Thiruvananthapuram Golf Club, set up in 1850, is among the world’s oldest. Covering an area of 25 acres, it is a nine-hole golf course. At the same time, the new 136-acre golf course built in association with Cochin International Airport (CIAL) in Kochi, is the largest in India, reports Financial Express.

“What helps golf tourism is the sudden perk in interest in golf worldwide, as the sport is all set to enter Olympics in the competition category for the first time at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. As per the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), India is set to be number three in the world as far as the growth rate in golf tourism is concerned,” says Jiji Thomson, director general, SAI. Kerala, in turn, would also need to develop more golf courses at its hill stations like Munnar to lure international golf tourists, he adds


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