India needs to develop more Golf Destinations to meet the growing demand of the Golfers, says Director General, Ministry of Tourism

No. PR- 125

October 10, 2021

New Delhi

India needs to develop more Golf Destinations to meet the growing demand of the Golfers, says Director General, Ministry of Tourism

Jammu and Kashmir poised to become the Golfing Capital of India

PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) organized the 4th edition of PHDCCI Golf Tourism Conclave and Tournament on 8-9 October 2021 in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir with the theme ‘Rejuvenating Tourism & Business through Golf’.

PHDCCI Golf Tourism Conclave was held on 8 October 2021 at Pahalgam Club and Convention Centre and brought together all the relevant stakeholders on one platform – the Government and the private sector to discuss issues and opportunities for the promotion of Golf Tourism.

Delivering the Keynote Address, Mr. G Kamala Vardhana Rao (IAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said that Golf Tourism in India has immense potential which can uplift the economy by increasing the GDP, foreign exchange earnings while generating employment opportunities. He emphasized that Golf Tourism is one of the thrust areas of the Ministry of Tourism and the government is willing to extend necessary support to the states to further promote this niche segment.

He further stated that the emerging trend of playing golf among the youth has motivated the government and the private players to improve infrastructure, including golf courses of international standards and trained manpower. India needs to develop more golf destinations to meet the growing demand of the golfers, he added.

The Inaugural Session was graced by Mr. Sarmad Hafeez (IAS), Secretary – Tourism, UT of Jammu and Kashmir; H.E. Dr. Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan; H.E. Mr. Ung Sean, Ambassador of Royal Embassy of Cambodia; H.E. Mr. Willy K. Bett, High Commissioner of Kenya; H.E. Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador of Myanmar; H.E. Mr. Fleming Duarte, Ambassador of the Republic of Paraguay; H.E. Mr. Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Ambassador of the Philippines; H.E. Mr. Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Mr. Rajan Sehgal, President, India Golf Tourism Association; Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI; and Dr. Jatinder Singh, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI.

The Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Kenya, Myanmar, Paraguay, Philippines and Vietnam talked about the Golf Courses and tourist destinations in their respective countries. They also praised about the scenic beauty, picturesque landscape and golf courses of Jammu and Kashmir which they said, is more beautiful as compared to what they have in their own countries.

Mr. Sarmad Hafeez IAS), Secretary – Tourism, UT of Jammu and Kashmir, said it has been observed that golf-linked tourists possess a higher purchasing power and spend more than the regular visitors. High profile golf events should be organized in India to attract domestic and international tourists and golf enthusiasts from all over the world.

He further said that Jammu and Kashmir has the strength to provide round the year tourism and with Golf becoming a growing sport worldwide, there are immense opportunities for the growth of Golf Tourism in the state. Our aim is to become the golfing capital of India, he added.

Mr. Rajan Sehgal, President, India Golf Tourism Association, informed that Golf Tourism is growing at 9.3% year- on- year and about 1.6 million people travel for Golf Tourism every year. Golf attracts affluent, high‐value‐adding tourists who generate significantly above‐average per capita revenues for the destinations they frequent.

I would only reiterate and request the Government, industry and the various stakeholders to adopt an integrated approach towards improving and boosting the Golf Tourism sector in our country which shall further aid in the development and growth of Golf Tourism in India, said Mr. Sehgal.

During the Conclave, a Knowledge Report was also released by PHDCCI and ORG India titled ‘Rejuvenating Tourism & Business through Golf: Exploring Tourism with Sports’ which says, “The awareness of Golf Tourism is rapidly growing worldwide. It is estimated that the demand and supply rate of golf is rising at a steady rate of 12% annually. The results have seen an increase in golf resorts and related employment opportunities. The implementation of an integrated golf tourism strategy will deliver not only incremental ‘high value low impact’ tourism but also help in generating more jobs, education and sporting opportunities, additional leisure activities, increased domestic travel, housing and international investment. Increased and aggressive promotional strategy by the specific golfing states in particular and Ministry of Tourism shall attract the golfers of the international community to India. This shall also help in increasing the Foreign Tourist Arrivals by showcasing the country’s rich and unique culture.”

A Panel Discussion on ‘Rejuvenating Tourism & Business through Golf’ was also organized which was moderated by Mr. Rajan Sehgal, President, IGTA. The panelists included Mr. Ghulam Nabi Itoo (KAS), Director – Tourism (Kashmir), UT of Jammu and Kashmir; Mr. Mushtaq Burza, President, Jammu & Kashmir Golf Association; Mr. Uday Marwah, Founder & Director, Premier Lifestyle Management; Mr. Arshad Shawl, Managing Committee Member, PHDCCI; and Mr. Vicky Shaw, Senior Member – Kashmir Chapter, PHDCCI.

The subject was passionately discussed by the panelists, who sought for various interventions from the government like accessibility, so that this sector progresses by leaps and bounds. As Indian golfers ascend new heights, the popularity of the sport is bound to improve and appeal to larger section of the country.

PHDCCI Golf Tournament was organized on 9 October 2021 at Lidder Valley Golf Course, Pahalgam. The Tournament saw the participation of over 84 Golfers from all over the country, besides local golfers from Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. G Kamala Vardhana Rao (IAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (IAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and felicitated all the Winners of the Tournament.

The Lidder Valley Golf Course proved a challenge even for most of the experienced golfers. The winners of the tournament were as follows:

Winner Category A (0-13 Handicap) – Mr. Vicky Shaw
Winner Category B (14-24 Handicap) – H.E. Mr. Willy K. Bett
Best Gross – Mr. Omair Nisar
Closest to Pin – Mr. Mushtaq Burza
Longest Drive – Mr. Sukhdeep Manocha
Straightest Drive – Mr. M P Khanna

All the Winners were given Trophies, Goodie Bags and Hampers from Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Golfers appreciated the efforts made by PHDCCI for organizing the Golf Tourism Conclave & Tournament.

The event was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism, Gujarat Tourism, VFS Global, Pahalgam Development Authority, ORG India, Golf Plus Monthly, India Golf Tourism Association, Power Gilt, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and HDFC Bank. It was also supported by Annual Sponsors such as DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals; UFLEX; JK Tyre & Industries; Marble City; Paramount Cables; SMC Investments and Advisors; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; Comtech Interio; DCM Shriram Industries; Radico Khaitan; R.E. Rogers India; Ajit Industries; Synergy Environics; EaseMyTrip; Continental Carriers; Timberworkz; Jindal Stainless; Modern Automobiles; P S Bedi & Co; IFFCO and Hindware.


Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry