About 1.9 million golfers aim to play on different golf courses around the world every year. And they spent much more than any other ordinary kind of tourist in the world.
Leisure travel is actually going downhill. Vietnam needs to find its own way to overcome this situation, and golf might be the answer. Golf is not an ordinary sport; it contains a huge economic potential. It gains a lot of money and gives a big opportunity to many tourist partners, including local labor and other socio-economic factors.
Golf tourism in Vietnam now has the wind in its sails. A “great nudge” to re-position Vietnam in the world of golf, such as the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship, which will take place in August in Da Nang, will be a “golden opportunity” to re-position Vietnam in the world of golf.
The “red carpet” welcoming the high-end international golf tourists
Golf tourism currently ranks 3rd in incentive travel in Asia. It would be a great opportunity for Vietnam to “roll out the red carpet” to greet these wealthy travelers. Subsequently, golf tournaments are the best way to welcome the “moneyed golfers” to play golf in the “S-shaped country”.
Sheraton Grand Da Nang Resort complex, where the 2022 Asian Golf Industry Federation conference will take place
“A treasure” to explore
A survey by KPMG – one of the Big Four accounting organizations – found that golf tourists on short-haul golf tours mostly have 3-4 day trips. For long-haul golf tours, the time is 1-2 weeks. Golf tourists are mostly middle-aged players with higher incomes.
If Vietnam develops golf tourism, it will be able to attract more foreign travelers, especially from important markets such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China... Analysts say that demand from these markets is very high. In winter, all the golf courses in the Central and Southern regions of Vietnam are always full of players, mostly from Northeast Asia.
Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, founder and Chairman of BRG Group, explained: “I still remember in 2017 during the Asia-Pacific Golf Summit, Vietnam was honored for the first time as “Asia’s Best Golf Destination”. That title helped Vietnam to claim many other awards in the following years, leading to a big wave of high-end tourists. For the development of Vietnamese golf and the Vietnamese golf tourism industry, BRG Group poured its heart and soul into hosting the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang.”
According to Eric Lynge, director of Sports Marketing Survey, 50% of Asian tourists would like to play golf during their holidays – an impressive statistic according to a report on the golf behaviour during COVID-19, published in September 2021, carried out by 10,000 participants residing in 9 countries and territories in April 2021.
Golf travelers are able to spend 6–8 times more than other kinds of tourists. The Sports Marketing Survey’s reports also showed that golf tourists prefer to pay much more than before. Half of golfers from the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea admit that they want to pay even more for golf in the next year. Notably, the number of golf beginners has increased in most of the markets surveyed.
However, Ha Van Sieu, Deputy general director of the Vietnam Department of Tourism, said that golf tourism products in Vietnam are not diversified, and the rate of international golf tourists is less than 1%. Meanwhile, nowadays, 9% of visitors to Thailand are golf tourists.
Regional and world-class golf tournaments in need
According to Pham Duy Nghia, CEO of Vietfoot Travel, Vietnam needs larger golf tournaments at both the regional and international levels to attract golfers and the new wave of super-rich visitors from this elite sport. As reality has proven, the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world, such as The Masters and the PGA Championship with incredible purses of up to 10 million USD and 8 million USD, respectively, are always attractive to the world’s top golfers.
Also, the U.S. Open, recognized as the hardest tournament in the world, is so famous that many golf courses have proposed to host it and are ready to remodel to meet the requirements of the organizers. Because, as they all know, being the venue of such a tournament is a great opportunity to widely promote the image of the golf course.
In the past, Vietnam has host several Asian Tour golf tournaments. We can mention the Carlberg Masters 2004 and 2005, organized on the Stargolf course of Chi Linh star golf course; or even the Hô Tràm Open, with the participation of the big stars of the world like Robert Rock, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy, Thomas Bjorn.
The above tournaments, with large scale and professional organizations, could be considered as the first big “nudge” to promote golf in Vietnam. However, at that time, the knowledge of this sports in the “S-shaped country” is still limited. For many people, golf was quite a strange sport.
However, that was the story of 5-6 years ago, today, the position of golf in Vietnam is much different. Along with the appearance of many new golf courses, the number of golfers in Vietnam has also increased rapidly.
Besides, various golf championships are regularly organized on a larger scale, with a higher professional level in both gameplay and organization.
We have to mention the creation of the Vietnam Golf Association Tour (VGA Tour), whose events’ purses range from VND 1 billion to VND 1.5 billion (equivalent to an Asian Development Tour tournament – ADT), helping the golf industry in Vietnam rise to new levels.
Most recently, Vietnam has also successfully organized golf at the 31st SEA Games and received very high praise from friends in the region. This is the first step for Vietnam to host many professional golf tournaments in the near future.
The BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang 2022, scheduled to take place at the end of August at BRG Da Nang Golf Resort, will be one of such events.
Great expectations for the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang
The 2022 Da Nang Golf Tourism Festival includes typical activities such as: an international seminar on golf tourism development; activities to visit, experience, and practice golf; a local food promotion tour; charity activities; a Da Nang sightseeing city tour; and a Miss Golf Contest. In particular, the highlight of the festival is the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang, which is part of the ADT system.
Part of the ADT system, the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang 2022 is a great honor and also a result of the unremitting efforts and cooperation of the whole community for the development of golf in Vietnam.
Beauty of the Nicklaus Course at BRG Da Nang Golf Resort
BRG Group is the title sponsor of the first edition of the event.
The 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang is expected to have the participation of 144 international and Vietnamese professional golfers. It will have 1 ProAm tournament and 3 official rounds. The top 50 golfers in the first 36-holes rankings will make the cut and compete for a prize of up to 75,000 USD.
After 7 years, since the 2015 Ho Tram Open, Vietnam will once again host a professional tournament at the continental level. It will give Vietnamese golfers the opportunity to experience, play, and compete with talented golfers from all over the world. Vietnamese golf fans will have the opportunity to witness top-notch and beautiful swings.
The 2022 Da Nang comes on the occasion of the Da Nang Golf Tourism Festival and becomes a great opportunity for Da Nang city and Vietnam in general to promote its tourism image, as Mark Reeves, Division director of BRG Group, said:
“I think this event is not only a stepping stone for BRG Group, but also for Da Nang, as well as Vietnam, in the journey of integration with the world. Today we host an ADT tournament, but tomorrow it will be an event from the most professional golf tour in Asia – the Asian Tour. From this starting point, we will find the future stars and we hope that the world’s top golfers will come to Da Nang as well as to other places in Vietnam to compete in the near future.”
Hosting an ADT event will create huge media value in the world. A lot of exclusive television programs for the tournament and for the city of Da Nang will be broadcast on 27 domestic and international sports TV channels, expected to reach more than 423 million viewers in Asia-Pacific and 380 million viewers in other regions around the world.
According to Ha Van Sieu, the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang will contribute to promoting golf tourism and is the perfect opportunity to prove that Vietnam deserves the titles of “Asia’s Best Golf Destination” and “World’s Best Golf Destination”.
With the slogan “Infinite Connections”, thanks to the huge support from the city of Da Nang and BRG Group, the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang is expected to be a great success. The tournament features the symbol of bridges – one of Da Nang’s landmarks. This is an opportunity to connect Vietnam and the world of golf, tying sports, culture, and people’s values together. At the same time, this is also a stepping stone for reaching out in many fields, bringing the charming image of Vietnam to international friends.
Along with the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang, the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) Conference and many other activities, the 2022 Da Nang Golf Tourism Festival will be an opportunity to promote and develop the brand of Da Nang tourism to become the n°1 golf destination in Asia. Da Nang will host this tournament for 3 consecutive years (2022–2024).
In the context of the growing Vietnamese golf market, a tournament like the 2022 BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang is a great opportunity to re-position Vietnam’s golf as the favorite destination on the world’s golf tourism map, but also to expect that bigger tournaments like the Asian Tour, DP World Tour, or PGA Tour will “land” here in the future.