Myanmar is far from a golf tourist destination despite having many courses in different cities, said U Phyo Wai Yar Zar, vice chair of Myanmar Tourism Federation.
Speaking to The Myanmar Times, he said that golf tourism has a potential niche market but the local courses are not up to the expectations of international golfers.
“We have to try hard if we want to make Myanmar a golfing destination. We can count the number of courses that are of international standard. But that number cannot be compared with other regional countries which have already developed the game and facilities,” U Phyo Wai Yar Zar said.
There are no more than 10 tour agencies offering packages, including golfing.
In Vietnam, there are 32 international courses. Myanmar has about 60 courses in the whole country.
Daw Su Su Tin, vice chair of Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee, said, “Some tourists have tried golf courses in neighboring countries. A few tours operators are offering a golf program in their itinerary but we cannot promote golfing tourism too much.”
“Myanmar has fine weather, not as expensive as other countries and has a huge potential for golf tourism development,” she said.
U Phyo Wai Yar Zar added, “People know Myanmar as a cultural tourism centre. Perhaps now is the time to promote traditional sport related tourism like chinlone (caneball) and other Myanmar sporting events.”
“Chinlone as a sporting event cannot be found in other countries. Relevant government departments should make it popular as a tourism product,” he said.
“Also, the golfing market is for high-end tourists who are mostly big spenders. Other facilities such as high-end restaurants and amenities need to be developed,” he said.
Currently, there are no more than six or seven international fine dining restaurants in Yangon.
U Phyo Wai Yar Zar said, “We should first get the primary requirements done up and then continue with other things,” he said.
“As I know, there’s no website, specific market figures on golfing for tourists. Concerned authorities need to build up the human capital first and the required infrastructure before promoting golf as a product,” he said.
“We have no information yet about the various courses and it is hard to find out who are those interested in golfing in Myanmar. Golfing is the best way to attract visitors as part of tourism,” U Phyo Wai Yar Zar said.
Source - mmtimes