Vietnam Golf Tourism: Potentials and challenges
Update: Apr 04, 2022
(TITC) - On 1st April, in the framework of Vietnam International Travel Mart - VITM Ha Noi 2022, Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA) in collaboration with the Vietnam Golf Tourism Association (VIGTA) organised the conference on Vietnam Golf Tourism: Potentials and Challenges. Massive potentials for golf tourism development
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Nguyen Le Phuc, Vice Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) stated that with a coastline of more than 3,260km, diverse terrain with 3/4 of hills and mountains, Vietnam is a country with the advantage of developing various types of tourism, including golf tourism. According to many experts, Vietnam has full potential and opportunity to become "Asia's golf paradise".

Mr. Nguyen Le Phuc, VNAT’s Vice Chairman speaking at the conference (Photo: TITC)
According to Mr. Mike Sebastian, CEO of Asia Pacific Golf Group: "There is no place in the world where golf development is as fast and synchronised as in Vietnam".
Mr. Tran Ngoc Hai - Vice Chairman of VIGTA indicated that Vietnam has great potential for golf development with its ideal geographical location and flight distance. Vietnam is also close to the world's highest-growing golf markets and possesses unique and attractive natural and cultural resources and tourism. Vietnam's golf courses are professionally designed and invested. Especially, Vietnam's climate allows golf tourists to operate all year round.

Mr. Tran Hieu, Director of the Institute of Sports Science (General Department of Sports and Physical Training) speaking at the conference (Photo: TITC)
Vietnam's golf also holds many development opportunities when the Asian region is leading the global golf market and has special economic and cultural relationships with the two leading golf markets, which are Japan and Korea. In 2021, according to the results announced by the World Golf Awards, the most prestigious award in the field of golf in the world, under the World Travel Awards system, Vietnam is recognised as the best Golf Destination in the world and in Asia.
Currently, Vietnam has operated 80 golf courses with 18-holes, and by 2025, there will be 200 golf courses with 18-hole to put into operation. Golf courses in Vietnam are of good quality and class, designed by world famous golf course architects, with differences based on the advantages of topographical features and the values of natural and cultural resources to attract tourists who love to conquer many unique golf courses, many challenges and different experiences, said Mr. Tran Hieu, Director of the Institute of Sports Science (General Department of Sports and Physical Training).
Challenges and solutions for Vietnam golf development
Along with the potential factor, Vietnam golf tourism is facing challenges and difficulties, which require development strategies and plans to increase the competitiveness of Vietnam's golf tourism with other countries in the region.
Regarding current challenges and difficulties, VNAT’s Vice Chairman Nguyen Le Phuc stated, in fact, golf tourism in Vietnam are still limited due to the small number of golf courses, the proportion of international visitors coming to play golf is not high in the total number of international visitors to Vietnam, the linkage among travel businesses and golf courses are detached, golf tourism has not been connected with other types of tourism such as MICE, caravan, etc. There are neither professional awards nor methodical solutions as well as no linkages among golf courses within the region for promoting and stimulating golf tourism products.
The golf tour programmes currently being brought to operation remain poor, because the golf market is still a newbie; partially the travel businesses still lack information about the guest market. Some golf tour programmes currently being operated by some travel agencies are quite simple, mainly focusing on activities to support golf tourists.
“In the future, golf will become a global form of entertainment with new markets developing in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Therefore, the policy of Vietnam tourism industry is to promote the advantages and potentials to develop golf tourism in a sustainable way, which is considered one of the orientations for developing Vietnam's tourism products in the next few years", Mr. Phuc emphasised.
Agreeing with the opinion of VNAT’s Vice Chairman Nguyen Le Phuc,  VITA’s Chairman Vu The Binh expressed his thought, to develop golf tourism effectively, it is necessary to have a long-term and overall strategy for all businesses. Hence, golf businesses need to discuss with each other specifically and in detail, and at the same time need to have a connection to form a system, on the basis of considering consistently golf as strength of Vietnam tourism for development. Besides, it is necessary to study the golf market of Vietnam, adding the services associated with golf, etc. to research and develop according to the roadmap and have a clear development plan.

VITA’s Chairman Vu The Binh speaking at the conference (Photo: TITC)
According to Mr. Tran Ngoc Hai, VIGTA’s Vice Chairman, For golf tourism to develop in Vietnam, the role of travel agencies play a very important role, because these units are the link with airlines, golf courses, destinations, restaurants, hotels, etc. Besides, it is necessary to strengthen the connection, in which, strongly apply technology to connect the most convenient information, exchanging golf clubs, for instance. It is crucial to have a hand from the authority in supporting businesses and travel agencies to connect with each other to expand golf tourism among locations.
Also at the conference, representatives of the resorts presented to the delegates the development strategy, models, images, etc. of the golf course, helping the delegates to have a comprehensive view of modern golf courses, meeting international standards in Vietnam.
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