Indonesia promotes golf tourism in South Korea

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with a golf operator, will promote the countrys golf tourism potential through a program "Wonderful Indonesia Golf" to be held in South Korea on March 21-23.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya noted in a written statement received by ANTARA on Thursday that he would bring Indonesian golf operators to take part in the Wonderful Indonesia promotion in Seoul and Busan.

According to Yahya, the operators were invited by their Korean counterparts to attend a table-top business meeting.

"It is expected to help realize business transactions, which could later increase the number of Korean tourists visiting Indonesia to play golf," Yahya affirmed.

During the event, he would also invite a golf expert who could provide a broader understanding of Indonesias golf potential.

Indonesian golf courses have an edge in terms of the scenic beauty of the surrounding nature such as seas, volcanoes, and tropical rain forests.

Moreover, skilled Indonesian caddies and courses, which can be used throughout the year, are other advantages of Indonesian golf tourism.

"We have a strong selling point as our golf courses are frequently used for holding international tournaments. It is the perfect time to promote it," Yahya stated.

Indonesia also offers more affordable golf packages compared to Korea.

Marketing Director of PT Visi Prima Golf Merry Kwan pointed out that a five-day, four-night golf package in Indonesia costs only US$550 and includes accommodation, transportation, course and caddy charges, and other related facilities.

Some 4.19 percent Korean tourists visit Indonesia to indulge in various sports, including golf.

Golf is one of seven special areas of interest that has been identified by the Tourism Ministry. Before South Korea, such promotional event had been held in China and Japan.

Indonesias potential to attract more tourists from these three countries is promising due to the high cost of golf packages in Korea and Japan, whereas Chinese officials are not allowed to play golf in their country in addition to a prohibition on opening new golf courses.

Indonesia is targeting to attract 400 thousand Korean tourists and over 12 million foreign visitors in 2016.(*)