Offbeat Tourism

Lure niche tourists with the game of golf

PANAJI

It’s a perfect setting. Sun sinking behind a flying pin on the third green off a golf course in Goa. The combination of a game, Sun, sand promises to be a winner for those who enjoy mixing leisure with sport.

This is where golf offers a brilliant opportunity to connect sport with tourism, and make it a pitch to attract more visitors into India, reports DNA.

Unlike many other sports, golf is individual-driven and doesn’t need team to play or enjoy. Instead, it a great travelling sport that permits people to explore new courses around the world. Getting links to connect with heritage, food trails or popular beachfront destinations can truly transform the government’s niche tourism approach in general and golf tourism in particular. Joint secretary Suman Billa says that the government is taking up golf tourism very seriously “given the number of scenic and beautiful golf courses we have in India”.

The revenue potential is high and the evidence is in the surge of golf tourism in Thailand, Indonesia and even Taiwan. China itself has only a short history of 28 years in the sport but has built solid infrastructure very quickly and also hosted some of the best global events to attract attention. I know of at least 5 CEO groups who have visited Mission Hills and other cluster of golf courses to play.

Mauritius is another country putting the spotlight on golf to its tourism offerings in a big way. Not long ago I travelled to SriLanka where several tourism companies offered me to play golf with some of the country’s best cricketers. This would be a wonderful way of connecting many iconic stars that love to play golf. India’s top cricketers today are making golf their second sport as well.

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