Fresh initiatives to promote golf tourism | Sunday Observer

Fresh initiatives to promote golf tourism

Hans Jorg of ‘Zunderorf” magazine, Elsa Mary Honecker of the Connoisseur Circle and the Golf Yearbook, Bernd Stegmaier Editor in chief of ‘Golfen’ magazine at the Nuwara Eliya golf course
Hans Jorg of ‘Zunderorf” magazine, Elsa Mary Honecker of the Connoisseur Circle and the Golf Yearbook, Bernd Stegmaier Editor in chief of ‘Golfen’ magazine at the Nuwara Eliya golf course

With three, 18-hole golf courses, including two in the hill country and an old-established one in Colombo, Sri Lanka presents an exciting challenge for ardent golfers, a spokesman for the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) said.

It is with this in mind that the SLTPB hosted a tour for journalists representing international publications to a unique golfing experience.

“For a country ideally placed, the diverse topography and terrain ensures that golfers be it amateurs or professionals have an enjoyable time. Each of the four golf courses are as varied as they can be with some offering the best vistas, while others offer an exciting challenge,” said Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Managing Director of the Bureau.

“Promotion of golf tourism aligns well with the National tourism strategy which seeks to position Sri Lanka as a high-value destination,” he said.

The journalists were flown in from Germany and Switzerland to visit golf courses in Colombo, Hambantota, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya to create awareness of Sri Lanka’s golfing capacity.

The Bureau is exploring the possibility of promoting golf tourism inculcating leisure since golfers are known to be discerning travelers who take both seriously.

The golf course in Kandy which is set in 500 acres with a landscape beautifully cast over every undulation, peak and slope. The course was voted as one best in Asia by Asian Golf Monthly and ranked in top 100 ‘Most Beautiful Courses in the World’ by Golfers Digest. The Hambantota golf course on the other hand is the only one in the country set amid a vast coconut palm plantation, offering spectacular views and unique challenges for both casual and seasoned players

He revealed that along with golf clubs, the tourism body was looking at considered to be high net worth individuals. It is also envisaged that the familiarization tour would attract international golf tournaments in the near future.

The journalists who head global publications that specialise in golf played golf in Nuwara Eliya, Hambantota, and Kandy, and visited the Royal Colombo golf club. Accommodation was provided by Jetwing, Shangri La and Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

“Golfers like to go to beaches and beach resorts with golf facilities, which we found here. Sri Lanka also has many cultural venues and spa attractions which is a unique selling point,” said Bernd Stegmaier, Editor-in-chief of Golfen, adding that the combination of golf and ayurveda was a good reason for golfers to visit Sri Lanka.

The other two journalists were Hans Jorg representing Zundorf and Elsa Maria Honecker who represents Connoisseur circle and the Golf Yearbook. 

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