Investing in Thai GolfA new mobile app that offers last-minute golf deals in Thailand recently received THB23.83 million (US$673,700) in funding from the venture capital arm of telecoms group, In Touch.
According to a report on techinasia.com, Golfdigg, which offers golfers considering Thailand the chance to book golfing slots for discounted prices, is now valued at US$2.8 million.
Bhurich Aksorntub, CEO and creator of the App says it is useful for local golfers and also international visitors looking to enjoy the beauty and challenges the Kingdom's courses have to offer as it basically allows golfers to play at courses for less than the walk-in rate, giving them many more choices on a lower budget.
Co-founder of the app, Thera Siricharoen, added that it is also a useful tool for operators of Thailand's golf courses because it allows them to fill unsold time slots with last minute deals.This has resulted in increased revenue for not just golf courses but also associated services, such as caddies, he explained.
Thanks to the number of spectacular golf courses located across Thailand, particularly in island destinations like Phuket and Koh Samui, Golfdigg has plenty to offer. In fact, a 2013 report by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators showed that the nation ranks seventh in the world for golf tourism.
There are over 240 courses spread across Thailand, which the only Asian nation in the top 10 global rankings for golf tourism. The majority of inbound golfers come from countries such as China, Korea and Japan.
On Koh Samui, the Santiburi Samui Country Club is one of the most sought-after golf destinations in the region. The 6,930 yard, par-72 course is home to a selection of uphill and downhill challenges that wind their way through coconut groves and mountain inlets. Over on Phuket, Mission Hills Golf Club is one of the most popular spots for visiting golfers. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course boasts stunning ocean views and a number of challenging water features. The Laguna Golf Club is also high on the vacation itineraries of golf enthusiasts visiting Phuket, and was reportedly praised by legend Nick Faldo when he visited Thailand.
Figures published by Golfdigg show that The App already records approximately 200 deals per month, taking a 15-30 percent cut per booking. Many deals booked through the App are for groups of golfers, equating to approximately 1,000 unique players every month.
updates by Wayne Hue