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Business International

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PROJECTING AND SELLING ITSELF AS THE GOLF DESTINATION OF ASIA, THE MALAYAN PENINSULA, WITH MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED GOLF COURSES, IS WELCOMING AND TAPPING REVENUE FROM GOLF TOURISM, SONY J RAJ WRITES
Malaysian revenue model is moving ahead of time. Thinking of a self-reliant and sustainable model of income generation, this Malaysian model of Golf Tourism is ideal and worth imitating. Projecting and selling it as the golf destination of Asia, the Malayan peninsula is developing a USP for Golf tourism. A country with more than two hundred golf courses is welcoming and tapping revenue from golf tourism.
Moderate climate, extensive seashores, wide transport and communication facilities, ample shopping arenas, excellent hotels, easy international air transits, amazing diversity of food and cuisines, less pollution and above all the welcoming population is amalgamated in a unique combination favoring the boost of Malaysia as a golf destination of the world. Majority of these golf courses are conceptualised and designed by internationally reputed architects and curators. In 2010, Malaysia hoisted the PGA Tour. The business model is far sighted, during the summer seasons in the Middle East, Africa and Europe Malaysian aviation and hoteliers will declare off-season packages and attract tourists to these golf circuits. These golf courses are often attached with luxury class hotels and restaurants with state-of-the-art facilities. Hence, they will lead to allied income sources and development of subsidiary hospitality sector. When Malaysia was named the IAGTO Golf Destination of the Year for the region of Asia and Australasia, in 2008, it was vindication of the hard work for both the golfing and tourism industries of the country. Both industries have been working tirelessly to promote Malaysia as a leading golfing destination, and finally in 2008, the hard work had paid off. We are very honoured to receive this award. It will help us promote Malaysia more as a preferred golf destination

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The World Travel Market Global Trends Report predicted that the future for golf tourism in Asia is bright, with increasing number of golfers attracted by the worldclass courses, international tournaments and value packages.

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Business International

in Asia. We hope the tour operators, especially IAGTO members, will continue to package Malaysia for golf in their home countries, said Norazmi Omar, Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysias office in Los Angeles, upon winning the award. The award was based on a variety of criteria, such as customer satisfaction, quality of golf courses and accommodations, and value for money. Golf is currently a multi-billion dollar industry. It was first started in Malaysia in 1893 with the opening of the Royal Selangor Golf Club in central KL. It wasnt until much later though that the full potential of the industry was realised. In the early 1990s, when golf fever first hit Malaysia, a leading club boasted in an advertisement that it offered a lifestyle so leisurely and gracious that, thankfully, it can be enjoyed by only a select few. Nowadays, although still considered a rich mans game, golf is better promoted by Malaysia as being affordable in comparison to other places. Malaysia is a good option for a golfing holiday; cheap in comparison to other countries, both to travel within and to play golf. Top golf courses around the country range in price from RM75 -175, plus golf cart hire. Caddies are just RM20-30 (plus tips). This presents a rare opportunity for tourists to be able to combine a love of golf with a love of travel, without breaking the bank. Since 2008, there has also been the beginning of big golfing names investing

in the country. Greg Norman has announced the development of the first US PGA endorsed golf course in the country. He has unveiled plans for an 18 hole course at UluTiram, Johor. This course will place Malaysia firmly on the map as one of the hosts of US PGA sanctioned golf tournaments in the future; thus further strengthening Malaysias reputation for being home to some of the best golf courses in the world. Other international class golf courses in Malaysia have been designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Robert TrentJones, Max Wexler, Ted Parslow and other golfing greats. This year Malaysia will hold the first ever PGA sanctioned tournament for South East Asia. The CIMB South East Asia Cup is being held in October at The Mines Resort and Golf Club. This event is sure to increase foreign interest in the area and bring in more golfing tourists than ever before. Malaysia also plays host to the European Tours Maybank Malaysian Open each year as well as the World Amateur Inter-Team Golf Championships. Global market research consultancy, Euromonitor, found in 2009 that golf tourism in Asia was defying the global recession trend. It said that the rising standard of living across many Asian countries and the development of tourism infrastructure had helped to bring in high spending tourists. The leaders in golfing tourism within South East Asia are Malaysia and Thailand.

Golf tourism presents a great opportunity for Asia to attract lucrative high-value visitors and showcase the best it has to offer sports tourism in general is poised to become a major sector of the travel and tourism industry. Asias decision to focus on the segment of golf tourism is particularly clever as its a popular sport with very high participation levels, said Fiona Jeffery, Chairperson, World Travel Market. The current Asian leaders in golf tourism are Malaysia and Thailand. Thailand enjoyed revenue from golf tourism totaling USD 800 million, growing at 10 per cent per year, and Malaysia was reportedly not far behind. Asians are crazy about golf and the recession has done little to curb their enthusiasm. This craze shows the rising standards of living in Asia and also the emergence of Asia as a major international golf destination, said Caroline Bremner, Research Manager, Euromonitor International Global Travel and Tourism. The World Travel Market Global Trends Report predicted that the future for golf tourism in Asia is bright, with an increasing number of Western golfers likely to be attracted by the world-class courses, international tournaments and value packages

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