India targeting revenue through golf tourism

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India has been trying to get a larger slice of the ever-growing golf tourism market. Some of majestic old golf courses are attractions in themselves, and more new ones are being built. More exposure through golf tournaments is also taking place.

Peter Walton, President & Chief Executive of IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) – the Global Golf Tourism Organization, along with Bruce MacPhee, Senior Agronomist, and Mike Orloff, Managing Director of Golf Industry Central, are some of the leading lights of the global golf industry from among 500 delegates, who will attend the 8th Indian Golf and Turf Expo (IGE) 2019. South Asia’s largest golf industry trade show is scheduled to be held at New Delhi’s Thyagraj stadium on April 26-27, 2019. The IGE returns to the national capital after last year’s seventh edition was held in Bengaluru.

Speaking at the formal launch of the event, Mr. Suman Billa (IAS), Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said: “The Ministry of Tourism of the Government of India has long identified golf as a potential tourism booster and has taken several measures including developing more public courses to grow and promote the sport in the country. In a welcome addition, this year’s IGE has also involved turf experts and professionals in a big way. This is so important to ensure that the best of infrastructure is available in the country, not only to boost the prospects of golf, but also other sports like football, cricket, polo and others where quality turf plays a critical role in boosting the standards of the athletes game. I thank all partners in making IGE a success over the years and look forward to the 2019 edition.”

Rishi Narain, former Asian Games Gold medalist, also stated, “The Golf Industry Association has set a target to generate revenue of INR 100 crs in [the] next five years through golf tourism.”

IGE 2019 will see around 50 domestic and international exhibitors display their products along with conferences by eminent speakers, golf simulators to hone golf skills, putting and snag golf competitions, networking lunches, evening cocktails, and a gala dinner. About 37 golf clubs from all over the country have also confirmed their participation.

Mrs. Deepali Shah Gandhi, President of the Golf Industry Association (GIA), promoters of IGE, was also present on the occasion and said: “On behalf of the GIA, I would like to thank Mr. Suman Billa and through him the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for their continued encouragement and support to IGE, which has now become a must-attend for the entire golf ecosystem in the country. The IGE brings together all key partners and contributors to the sport, whose tireless efforts have enabled stars like Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar, and Shubhankar Sharma to name a few, make a name for themselves. The GIA heartily welcomes all delegates and foreign guests to the IGE 2019 and hope they have a fruitful time at the expo.”

Other key golf industry bodies represented at IGE 2019 include the Indian Golf Union (IGU), Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI), and the Golf Course Superintendents and Managers Association of India (GCSMAI). The event is also supported by Incredible !ndia.

India has over 240 golf courses in the country and about 150,000 individuals play the game across age groups. Over the past five plus years, India has attracted over INR 5000 crores of investment.

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