Thailand likely pass Spain as the world’s most popular golf tourism destination in 2015 or 2016

It seems impossible, giving how hot and humid Thailand is, but in a few years, Thailand will be the globe’s top golf tourism country.  Thai golf tourism is riding on the back of a tourism explosion to the kingdom, with total foreign arrivals doubling in the past seven years to more than 22 million in 2012. Mark Siegel, the principal of Thailand’s largest inbound golf tourism company, Golfasian, says the country’s golf tourism has also skyrocketed to an estimated 750,000 arrivals in 2012, up 50 per cent in the past three years. If this pace of growth continues, Thailand will pass Spain as the world’s most popular golf tourism destination in 2015 or 2016. Siegel estimates golf tourism was worth 86 billion baht or US$2.88 billion in land arrangements alone to Thailand in 2012. “The past year and the high season now ending have been quite amazing,” Siegel told HK Golfer. “For the first time in several years there was no impediment to Thailand’s huge international appeal – no floods, political unrest or local economic issues. Everything has been ‘go’ and that’s what has happened. Golf tourists have voted with their feet and have overwhelmingly chosen Thailand.” Siegel expects 15 per cent further growth in 2013 to more than 850,000 golf visitors, worth $US$3.68 billion, with the one million mark in visitor numbers expected to be passed in 2015 (More Reading).

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