Vietnam looking at revival of golf travel

Golf industry insiders predict demand surging past the pre-pandemic levels

Vietnam has been known for its golf courses. Before the pandemic struck in 2020, the golf courses had been a popular destination among sport enthusiasts. Now, Director of Golf at Laguna Golf Lang Co, Adam Calver, has said that Vietnam could now contribute even more towards golf travel. The prediction has come after the Southeast Asian country opened its borders to international tourists in March this year. Calver, who is also a key person at Vietnam Golf Coast, a destination marketing organisation, said that Vietnam would not just recover post-pandemic as the golf destination, but become even better. 

Over the years, Vietnam has succeeded in placing itself as a key bucket-list golf destination,  with Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Robert Trent Jones Jr having laid out vast golf courses in the country. Another thing that is working for Vietnam is the fact that the country has received many global accolades, including the title of World’s Best Golf Destination at the 2021 World Golf Awards. This led to tourists wishing to visit Vietnam when its borders were largely closed and now this pent-up demand could work in its favour.

Vietnam’s tourism industry does not expect visitor numbers to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels immediately. However, Calver and other insiders of the golf industry do think that a bright future is on the horizon for clubs in Vietnam, now that it has reopened. Calver said that during the pandemic, a lot was going on in the country, including new golf courses coming up across Vietnam to offer new experiences to golfers who chose to visit again post pandemic. One of these changes, he said, was that since 2019, Central Vietnam got an addition of two championship courses, taking the number to a total of seven championship courses.

Like all layouts in the country, Laguna Golf Lang Co also faced challenges posed by the pandemic over the past couple of years. However, the club was recently positioned at number 88 on Golf World’s list of Top 100 Golf Resorts in the World and it is now preparing for a major resurgence over the coming months. It is witnessing an increase in bookings from several international markets including Korea and Europe, while also registering an uptick in bookings from domestic travellers, the club said.

Meanwhile, Calver added that the demand was surging in Vietnam again, and while he earlier would have suggested that anyone seriously interested in golf travel needed to visit the country once, he now revised it to say that such people would need to come back every few years to be able to do justice to the experiences it was offering.

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