“An estimated 40000 foreigners comes to Johor every month to play golf,” said President of Johor Golf Tourism Association (JGTA), Col. Mohd Jamal Salleh at a press conference with Exco Liow Cai Tung, Tourism, Women Family, and Community Development chairman discussing the future of golf tourism in Johor at Forest City Golf Resort recently.
However, the number of rounds played is reported to be dwindling, said Qiu Lipeng, General Manager of Forest City Golf Resort. “This indicates that we have a problem,” added Arthur Yeo, the former GM of Forest City Golf Resort and current advisor to JGTA, also present at the press conference of a brainstorming event; “Developing and Harnessing Golf Tourism as Economic Drivers in Johor”.
The event was officiated by Liow, who said golf tourism is one of the sectors that play a big role in Johor tourism in line for Visit Johor 2020.
Key players of the industry including golf club managers and tourism agencies participated in the roundtable discussion to explore ways to boost the industry to attract more consistent tourists each month, leveraging each other’s expertise. Currently, it was found that the number of golf tourists only surged seasonally mainly from China, Taiwan and Korea, as they escape from their winter season to enjoy our tropical weather. The discussion aims to find ways to attract more golf tourists from other parts of the world throughout the year.
It is recognised that golf tourists spend more than average tourists, creating more economic opportunities in other sectors such as hotels, restaurants, travel, and entertainment.
To boost golf tourism, more local caddies are needed as well. Liow in her officiating speech, encourages youths, especially young women, to take up caddying as a career.
“I believe caddy as a career has great potential and career advancement prospects and this is a good opportunity for youths out there in particular young women to take up the challenge and work in the many beautiful golf courses we have in the state,” she said.
A caddy is reported to earn a basic of RM1200, but with tips per round played they could bring up to RM3500 a month. The industry needs more local caddies and interested job-seekers may contact Johor Golf Tourism Association for more information.