Top News Demand for new golf vacations grows in India By Rohit Kaul / Posted on 3 January, 2023 10:05 Indian travel agents are seeing an uptick in outbound golf tourism demand, with destinations like Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka gaining favour. Thailand, which used to dominate golf tourism promotions in India, now battles for the spotlight with Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Dubai – all of which have held roadshows in 2022 to appeal to Indian golfers. More Indian golf enthusiasts are heading overseas for sports holidays Rajan Sehgal, president, India Golf Tourism Association (IGTA), said: “Thailand has been promoting its golf tourism products to the Indian market for a long time. However, other destinations, especially short-haul ones like Vietnam, Malaysia, Dubai and Sri Lanka, are getting popular with Indian golfers. The respective tourism boards have realised the potential in the Indian outbound golf tourism market.” According to Sehgal, foreign NTOs are drawn to the spending potential of Indian golfers. An average Indian golfer spends at least double of a regular leisure tourist. He added that golf is now an integral part of many Indian destination weddings and business events. “Event planners are creating opportunities for guests and delegates to enjoy a golfing experience,” said Sehgal. Travel consultants told TTG Asia that the average size of Indian golfing groups ranges from eight to 40 pax. Jyoti Mayal, president, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), said the intensified golf-focused destination promotions have helped to grow Indian outbound golf tourism numbers. Even longhaul destinations, like South Africa, are keen to attract Indian golfers. “We have diversified the way we sell South Africa to appeal to the core passions of Indian travellers. With highly customised and personalised itineraries, we are looking at mobilising niche communities like golfers,” said Neliswa Nkani, hub head – MEISEA, South African Tourism.