India’s golf tourism revenue to double by 2021: Peter Walton

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. Peter Walton, President and Chief Executive, International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), says, ‘India is an incredible kaleidoscope of destinations and experiences and so are the golf courses. I can see doubling of golf tourism revenue in India by 2021. India is still an undiscovered golf destination, even though you have 230 golf courses. Through golf, visitors will be able to experience India. 70 per cent of golf travellers are looking for a unique place which they ahev not discovered earlier.”

Sharing statistics on the value of the market he adds, “Since the global economic crisis in 2008-2009, that impacted the entire leisure industry, golf bounced back within 18 months to two years, because golfers will not be denied their annual golf travel fix. Since 2011, golf tourism has grown every year at a rate between 8 and 10 per cent. So, on an average double the rate of growth of an average leisure tourism which is about 4 per cent. That carried on until 2018, we actually anticipate now that the rate of growth will slow to 5-7 per cent per year for the next three years. Mainly due to the lack of sufficient golf courses of a suitable standard in destinations people want to travel to. So, demand is still there but supply in the most popular destinations at the most popular time of the year is insufficient to cope with the demand. That is why new destinations like India can really advantage of the strong situation in the market.”