Sri Lanka to build two golf course resorts to attract golf tourism
With the objective of promoting golf tourism in Sri Lanka, the Government plans to construct two new integrated golf course resorts in a mountainous area and a coastal area, with the feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments to be completed in 2019.
The Sri Lanka Tourism and Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) said in a statement that the design, construction and operation of these golf course resorts have been listed as potential investment projects.
Sri Lanka currently has four 18-hole golf courses in Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Hambantota. According to the global golf tourism organisation International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) there over 100,000 golfers in India and over 14 million in Asia.
“Promotion of golf tourism aligns well with the National tourism strategy which seeks to position Sri Lanka as a high-value destination. Sri Lanka is ideally placed, with its diverse topography and terrain, to ensure golfers, be it amateurs or professionals have an enjoyable time.
Each of the four golf courses are as varied as they can be with some offering the best vistas, while others offer an exciting challenge,” said SLTPB Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam.
SLTPB also announced that it hosted three journalists representing leading international publications which specialise in golf for a familiarisation tour of Sri Lanka’s four 18-hole courses in a bid to create awareness of Sri Lanka’s golfing capacity.
SLTPB said the journalists were impressed by the varying topography of golf courses in Sri Lanka.
“Golfers like to go to beaches and beach resorts with golf facilities, which we found here. Sri Lanka also has many cultural venues and spa attractions which is a unique selling point,” said Bernd Stegmaier, Editor-in-Chief of Golfen, which has a readership of 1.5 million yearly. He added the combination of golf and Ayurveda was a good reason for golfers to visit Sri Lanka.
The other two journalists were Hans Jorg representing Zundorf which has a readership of 150,000 monthly and Elsa Maria Honecker who represents Connoisseur circle and the Golf Yearbook.
SLTPB said that it is envisaged that the familiarisation tour would attract international golf tournaments in the near future.
The Golf course in Kandy, which is set in 500 acres with a landscape beautifully cast over every undulation, peak and slope. The course was voted one best in Asia by Asian Golf Monthly and ranked in top 100 ‘Most Beautiful Courses in the World’ by Golfers Digest. The Hambantota golf course on the other hand is the only one in the country set amid a vast coconut palm plantation, offering spectacular views and unique challenges for both casual and seasoned players.
Hans Jorg of Zunderorf magazine, Elsa Mary Honecker of the Connoisseur Circle and the Golf Yearbook, Bernd Stegmaier Editor in Chief of Golfen magazine at Nuwara Eliya golf course