Driving the future of Golf Tourism in India

With his extensive experience in the golf, tourism, and luxury travel industries, Rajan Sehgal, President of the Indian Golf Tourism Association in conversation with Nikita Agarwal shares insights into the challenges and opportunities of promoting golf tourism in India, the evolution of the Indian golfing scene, and the future of the industry in a post-pandemic world.

How have you seen the Indian golfing scene evolve over the years, and what role has the IGTA played in that evolution?

Over the years, I have seen a tremendous evolution in the Indian golfing scene. It’s becoming popular with all age groups. However, other countries such as Thailand and Malaysia are still ahead of us when it comes to attracting golfers from around the world. That’s why we brainstorm with the Ministry of Tourism to help them understand the importance of golf tourism and its potential in India. The result was the formation of a Golf Tourism Policy, and we established the India Golf Tourism Association to take the initiative further.

With the support of the Ministry of Tourism, State Tourism Boards, and Chambers FICCI and PHD Chamber, we organized tourism conclaves that brought together golf tour operators from around the world to interact with Indian golf tour operators, golf courses, and golf-friendly hotels. Our aim is to promote India as a top golfing destination and tap into the potential of golf tourism in the country.

What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with promoting golf tourism in India, compared to other countries?

India has some unique challenges when it comes to promoting golf tourism compared to countries like Thailand, which has a plethora of golf courses and promotes its facilities extensively through roadshows and fam trips. However, in recent times, Indian golf courses and hotels have recognized the potential of golf tourism and are making efforts to tap into this market. While there may be fewer courses in India, they offer a diverse range of experiences throughout the country, from Jammu and Kashmir to South India, which is something that sets us apart. As a result, we have been organizing golf and golf tourism conclaves, inviting diplomats, corporates, golf tour operators, and media to create awareness and promote India as a golfing destination. With the growing interest in golf and the availability of excellent courses and facilities, I believe that India is well on its way to becoming a top destination for golf tourism.

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