Golf tourism is growing globally at an amazing rate of 12% annually. Golf brings in high spending tourists for a relatively longer duration of stay. Studies have revealed that 52% of travelling golfers take two or more golfing holidays in a year and spend 33% more on their holidays as compared to regular holiday makers.India, with more than 250 golf courses including almost 25 signature golf courses, has great potential to be a major golf tourism hub in near future. India also has a great diversity in golfing. From desert plains to tea estates, to the hill stations and from traditional parkland to modern resort golf, the country can offer a great variety of golfing at different destinations and with a different feel & taste.
India also has a well defined and comprehensive golf tourism policy guidelines brought out by Tourism Ministry. With India Golf Tourism Committee (IGTC), as the nodal body to promote golf tourism, the guidelines also provide for financial assistance for holding domestic and international corporate golf events. The guidelines also have provisions for financial support for publicity and promotion; for organising workshops, events and seminars; for organising golf promotion, shows and exhibitions and for capacity building. The large revenue generating scheme of the Ministry provides financial support for developing golf courses by way of viability gap funding.
In order to give a boost to golf tourism in India, we need to:
• Create synergy amongst all stakeholders viz Union Govt, State Govts, Golf Service Providers and Tourism Industry.
• Increase access to the present golf courses and to work for creating ‘common-man golf courses’ particularly for domestic travellers in India.
• Popularize golf sport among India’s youth.
• Promote Public Private Partnership for creation and operations of golf courses and to offer greater incentives by way of land and water availability &
• Aggressively promote in major source countries namely USA, Japan, Europe, Canada and UK.
It is time that IGTC played more proactive role and expanded its role and functions, not only to provide financial support under Ministry’s guidelines but also to provide overall leadership to make India, the next world golf tourism hub.
I compliment PHD Chamber of Commerce for organising 3rd edition of Golf Tourism Conclave and Tournament at Jaipur.