It’s no surprise that Spain, the United States and the British Isles are favorites among golfers. But Asia, particularly Thailand, is a new contender.
By year’s end, more than 600,000 golfers will have visited the Thai kingdom in 2012, spending an estimated $2 billion on ground arrangements alone, according to industry statistics. The double-digit growth comes despite a worldwide recessionary drop-off in travel.
Asia is benefiting because golfers have a never-say-die attitude, said Mark Siegel, the president of Golfasian, one of the largest golf tourism companies in the region.
"It's counterintuitive," he said. "You would think that golf tourism would decline during a recession, but it doesn't. Golfers just go to less expensive places." He said Thailand's low-budget tourism industry and multiple non-golf attractions are key reasons for the growth of golf tourism there.