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PHUKET GOLF: Pattaya pips Phuket for major award

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PHUKET: The Mayor of the City of Pattaya, along with representatives from several of that region’s golf clubs, accepted a big award in Turkey on Thursday, the final night of the International Golf Travel Market.

The nominees for 2012 included Malaysia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Thailand’s Hua Hin, Pattaya and Phuket regions.

This prestigious award was voted for by over 400 global tour operator members of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).

Previous winners included Malaysia and Thailand, but this was the first time that an actual region has won this award. Spain, the United States and Thailand are currently the Big Three international golf destinations, with Turkey and Portugal among developing countries that were rapidly increasing their golf tourism sectors.

The Mayor of Pattaya City, Itthiphol Kunplome, on accepting the award said, “Pattaya is already well known as a resort destination. However I hope that by winning this award, it will help give [us] a higher profile, and, through increased marketing budgets, elevate Pattaya as a top international golf destination.”

Peter Walton President and Chief Executive of IAGATO, said, “The main reasons why they won this award were that our members found that Pattaya offered quality golf courses, good management, great service, value for money, and, most importantly, that the local agents and tourist board were particularly supportive both of our members and of course their clients.”

Mike Mesommonta, spokesman for the Eastern Seaboard Golf Management Association, added, “This award is a huge endorsement for all our members, who have worked very hard to create some top class golf courses in the region. Our courses attract thousands of foreign visitors and several major International Tournaments every year, including the Thailand Open, the Pattaya Open and the Honda LPGA Open.

“We are lucky to be able to offer fine weather all year round, keeping our courses in perfect playing condition 365 days every year. And perhaps our best secret weapon is the wonderful smiles of our caddies!”

Akaplol Sorasuchart, President of Thailand’s Convention & Exhibition Bureau, said, “Corporate golf is very important to encourage overseas business, and a major part of our strategy has been to sponsor several major golf tournaments in Thailand. We have worked hard to develop the MICE industry and it is a great honour that Pattaya has received this award.”

Phuket, with eight major golf courses, offers some of the finest golfing in Thailand and Southeast Asia. But with Pattaya situated less than two hours away from the metropolis of Bangkok, Phuket cannot compete in terms of volume of games played, a criterion sure to impress an organization such as IAGTO.

 

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