Need to harness potential of golf tourism in India: Mahesh Sharma

New Delhi, Oct 26 (ANI): Union Tourism Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma has said that the government should put more emphasis to promote India as an all-season tourist destination.

Sharma, who was speaking at the ‘Golf Tourism Summit’ event organised by FICCI, added that there is a need to increase the potential of golf tourism into the country.

“Sports tourism in India is gaining interest, especially after the successful completion of Commonwealth Games 2010. One of the latest trends in golf tourism is the fact that there has been a recent surge in the interest levels amongst youth, the world over. India has several golf courses of international standards and golf events in India attract domestic and international tourists,” he said.

With international tourists expected to grow in the next few years, he said that it was important that India has the right product to meet the need of the visitors.

“In order to tap the growing interest in golf tourism, the Ministry of Tourism is creating a comprehensive and coordinated framework for promoting golf tourism in India, capitalizing on the existing work that is being carried out, and building upon the strength of India’s position as the fastest growing free market economy,” said Sharma.

The Tourism Minister said with international tourists expected to grow in the next few years, it is important that India has the right product to meet the need of the visitors.

“According to an independent study, 52 % of travelling golfers are likely to take two or more golfing holidays in a year and they spend on an average, 33% more on their holidays as compared to regular holiday makers. It is stated that 70 – 78% golfers would be prepared to visit a new golfing destination and this community represents the wealthiest 50% of all golfers,” said Sharma.

“Realizing the potential to develop Golf Tourism as the niche tourism product for attracting both domestic and international tourists, the ministry has revised guidelines to develop and promote India as a preferred Golf Tourism destination,” he added.

Around 18 leading foreign golf tour operators from 16 countries participated in the summit. (ANI)

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