The green shoots of tourism have begun popping up across the Asian region in early 2022, which means that for many dreams of a golf vacation are edging ever closer to becoming a reality. It’s an exciting prospect for travelling golfers who have spent the better part of two years cooling their heels.
But where to start in the reshaped and renewed travel landscape? Now more than ever, reliable and hassle-free service should be a priority. You’ll certainly be best off ensuring all boxes are ticked, and contingencies planned for, before getting on your flight.
In the current environment experience counts for everything. This is where a pure play golf tour operator can provide significant benefits, especially when compared to other companies which may be juggling tours of all types, along with other business interests.
A golf tour specialist will naturally be exclusively focused on catering for golfers’ specific needs, and will approach all aspects of tour planning with these needs foremost in mind. Of course, an established operator will also have extensive, long-term local connections to draw on.
It can’t be stressed enough: there’s no substitute for hands-on, specialized knowledge, backed by a strong selection of courses and accommodation types.
As international tourists are welcomed back in Asia, it will be worthwhile weighing up the following when booking your next golf tour:
- Health and safety – what health and safety protocols does an operator have in place? Protocols and accreditations will vary from country to country (for instance, in Thailand look to see if operators are SHA Plus [Safety & Health Administration] accredited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand). Protocols to keep in mind include: regular cleaning of tour vehicles, requirements for staff to wear masks and regular hand washing.
- A first-rate selection of destinations, courses and accommodation types – larger operators will be able to provide a wider selection of courses and accommodation types (be it budget or luxury accommodation, including hotels, villas and condos). A one-stop-shop service will be able to take care of all the details, arranging accommodation, courses and tee times.
- Local expertise – local, on-the-ground knowledge is critical. Tour operator staff who play and who are in regular contact with local courses will know of any issues ahead of time, and will be able to make alternative recommendations. Similarly, staff who have had firsthand experience of accommodations will be able to provide informed advice on location and suitability, depending on specific customer requirements.
- Value for money – this is a matter of weighing up both the range and types of deals on offer. Operators that have established long-term relationships with golf courses and hotels as a preferred partner will be able to provide varied package offerings. This means better deals for you, be it a budget golf getaway or a luxury 5-star vacation. Also confirm that all costs are included upfront, and if an operator will match competitor quotes.
- Hassle-free transportation – the last thing you’ll want to be doing is spending your valuable vacation time organizing and waiting around for transport. Confirm if an operator uses company-owned vehicles and full-time drivers, providing for both pick-ups and return to accommodation when convenient. No waiting fees will also free you up to use your transportation during golf days according to your preferences.
Whatever your destination, it will pay to keep the above in mind. Above all, do your research and make sure you confirm all details upfront. Happy golfing in 2022!
Golfasian this year marks 25 years of operation, making it one of the most established inbound golf tour operators in Asia. Based in Bangkok, we’ve built a strong network across the region’s golfing hotspots, including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Singapore.