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Golfers Leading Thailand’s Tourism Revival; Handicap Registrations Up 36% Since May 1

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As the Tourism Authority of Thailand starts to ramp up its overseas campaigns to encourage international travelers to fly to Thailand, one sector, golf, is already seeing a jump in inactivity.

Since the recent announcement canceling the “Test & Go” tourist-entry scheme, many international golf vacationers have shown a keen interest in playing in the Land of the Smiles. Over the past three weeks, the popular handicap website Birdie has seen a 36% rise in registrations from overseas golfers.

Birdie Thailand allows golfers from all over the world to enter their scores regularly every time they play eighteen holes.

So, after their round of golf, the website automatically updates their handicap, which as every golfer knows is vital if they wish to enter local tournaments.

At the same time, golfers are prompted to make a review of the course they just played. More then 15,000 golfers have registered in the past five years.

24,516,446 Shots

Golfers have played more than 295 courses in Thailand and Asia, resulting in 24,516,446 shots at an average handicap of 17.8.

“With many golf courses having had time to upgrade and deal with vital maintenance during the pandemic, some of our reviewers are saying they have found most courses have never been in better condition for play,” said Bridie CEO Shane Ruddle.

“It is very encouraging to see this jump in views. Golf vacationers tend to be a tough breed, so once the borders are open and the entry rules are relaxed, we expect many of Thailand’s top golf resorts to see an upswing in bookings during the next few months.”

Underscoring research from the International Association of Golfing Tour Operators, the organization states that the international golf tourism market is worth an estimated the US$17 billion, with approximately 56 million golf players across the globe.

“Golf vacationers tend to spend a lot more per head than the average tourist, as they tend to stay in 3– to 5-star hotels, eat at the best restaurants and, of course, pay for a round of golf and tip the Thai caddies too,” added Ruddle.

Major golf event

Nearly 300 golf vacationers from all over the world have also flown to Thailand and are currently taking part in the Centara World Masters Golf Tournament in Hua Hin.

This major event organized by Golfasian, the leading golf tour operator, is bringing to Hua Hin a lot of welcome bed nights in hotels across the city.