Troon International, found a new client in a very interesting market, in Sri Lanka. The Victoria Golf and Country Resort, a Donald Steel designed 18-hole, par-73, 6933-yard championship masterpiece in Digana, Sri Lanka has assigned Troon International to provide golf club operations and marketing services.
Victoria Golf & Country Club, owned by Rajawella Holdings Limited opened in 1998. In the very same place where is today the golf course, there used to be palm and coconut trees. If you are “lucky” then you can meet with King Cobras on the golf course.
It is good that they already provide additional activities like horse riding, cycling, croquet, air rifle and pistol range, trekking in the Victoria Nature Trek etc. This is in line with the latest travel trends. People are looking more for fresh territories and active journeys as adventure travel soars. I would consider a Sri Lanka golf holiday as an adventure travel.
Today, 80% of the travel decisions are made by women and only 5% of golf travelers are traveling alone. These facts tell me if Victoria Golf & Country Club would like to succeed and attract more golf tourists then they should master marketing to women. I have not found anything on their website that could be attractive to women or talk especially to women.
My impression is that Sri Lanka is one of the few under-developed golf destinations in the world. The latest tourism figures are really promising regarding the future:
- In 2015: Sri Lanka had 1.8 million international visitors who stayed 10.1 days on an average. The tourists generated US$2.98 billion revenue.
- In 2016: the country attracted over 2 million international tourists who generated US$3.5 billion.
The tourism sector reportedly provided more than 319,000 local jobs in 2015. Today Sri Lanka’s tourism industry today lies in the exploration phase of the tourism life cycle.
Fortunately, the government recognized the potential in tourism. Thus we can find in the Sri Lanka Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2020 such understandings like:
- they need more skilled, service-oriented workforce,
- the creation of extraordinary experiences (these should be customizable to the tourists’ interests and abilities): these should be one-off experiences that cannot be found elsewhere,
- the need of diversifying tourism products and services.
What I missed from this plan is the sustainable tourism. People today are looking for a responsible destination.
I found some interesting facts about the global tourism industry:
- Travel & Tourism generated US$7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy.
- For the sixth successive year, growth in Travel & Tourism outpaced that of the global economy (2.5%).
- In 2016, the Travel & Tourism was stronger than the growth recorded in the financial and business services, manufacturing, public services, retail, and distribution, and
- The best performing outbound markets in 2016 were: 1. China; 2. South Korea; 3. USA; … 6. UK; …10. Germany (source: World Travel Monitor, 2016).