Owning 7 reputed golf courses in Vietnam, was honored in the list of Asia most powerful people in golf at the Asia-Pacific annual conference (APGS) in 2018, Madame Nguyen Thi Nga – The Chairman of BRG Group – is considered a pioneer to bring golf sport to Vietnam. At the same time, she also played an important role in promoting the development of golf tourism with modern and open thinking about an optimistic future of the tourism industry which is considered as “Chicken laying golden eggs”.
Figure 1. Madame Nguyen Thi Nga – the pioneer to bring golf sport to VN
Madam, Madame Nguyen Thi Nga Brand, and BRG Group have long been a sure sponsor for the success of many impressive and unique golf courses. With experience in the field of golf for nearly 20 years, would you mind if sharing more clearly about the benefits that golf tourism brings to Vietnam?
First, I will talk about tourism. According to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and famous golf tourism company like Golftrip.asia, the length of stay of foreign tourists to Vietnam is only about 2 days. They do not have many activities to spend money, so the rate of returning tourists is not high. But since the appearance, golf sport has done the opposite. Tourists to Vietnam to play golf are required to stay longer, because the golfing time alone takes up a whole day.
There is a happy record at King Island golf course established by a Japanese guest that I often share. This guest at Nikko Hanoi Hotel (now Hotel du Parc Hanoi) is available for a week, appearing 7 days on the field and having played 108 golf holes every day, continuously from 5.30 a.m to 6.30 p.m. In fact, foreigners who come to Vietnam to play golf are very passionate and they will go in groups of 12 to 20 people. If we make good use of this opportunity, combine the local tourism industry to introduce more places to visit, I think, we can keep them stay longer.
In the period of 2019-2020, we expect an additional 90 holes to be added to the BRG Golf Resort’s 7 courses, creating more jobs for 2,500 workers, especially in areas with little potential for developing agriculture, where the land is arid and the climate is not favorable.
We currently have 21,600 employees, if an additional 2,500 people, that number will increase to 24,100. This is really an encouraging result. Each year, a golf course can become the destination of at least 100,000 international tourists, so we can attract more 500,000 tourists per year. In addition, the BRG Group’s golf courses and hotels receive 1 million visitors annually, and the 1.5 million visitors are feasible for BRG by 2020.
All of us expect at beautiful golf courses, but the quantity must always come with quality. What is the basis for us to believe in world-class golf courses and attract many tourists in your opinion?
In a recent year, Vietnam’s golf industry has made special strides. We are named in the most attractive golf tourism destination list in the Asia-Pacific region. We also own many high ranked golf courses in Asia and the world.
The first factor that appeals to golfers when coming to any golf course is the quality of the pitch must be beautiful, challenging design, then the quality of service. All our golf courses are operated by foreign experts, carefully cared lawn and service quality are highly appreciated. We have King Island golf course for 6 consecutive years in the top 10 best golf courses in Asia, BRG Danang Golf Resort – designed by Greg Norman (golf legend ranked the second position in the world) – is also honored for 3 consecutive years in the top 10 at the Asia – Pacific Golf Conference. All of BRG’s golf courses are fully equipped with clubs, good and clean facilities, standard style for golfers.
The second important factor to reinforce the belief in the future of golf tourism in Vietnam is the growing presence of celebrities who come here to play golf and relax. The veteran American actor – Morgan Freeman – came to play golf at Legend Hill and dedicated us: “This is a great golf course of quality, absolutely not inferior to any high-quality America golf course “. The second character is a 100-year-old golf player Steve Melnikoff, who wants to play at the 100 most beautiful golf courses in the world to celebrate his special birthday. About 10 years ago, Malaysian King and his wife also came to Vietnam and organized King’s 79th birthday at King Island golf course. This is also the place where the Mercedes-Benz Masters Vietnam golf tournament sponsored by Mercedes was held for 3 consecutive years.
Upcoming time, world-class golf designer – Jack Nicklaus will bring golf holes lying middle in the gorge filled with roses, this is a special thing that we would recommend to golfers in Vietnam. We also have golf courses in the sea such as Do Son (Hai Phong) and especially in Quang Nam and Hue. These two localities own the most beautiful coastline in the world, but the designers themselves are also shocked. They shared that they wanted to combine traditional tourism and golf tourism to create famous tourist resorts.
In the North, beyond the long-standing King Island and Nicklaus-designed Legend Hill golf course have become more and more famous, we know that BRG Golf is still continuing to develop beautiful golf courses of world-class charm in the Central coastal area. How is this plan being implemented by BRG Group, Madam?
The Central Coast is a place with lots of sun and wind and there is no cold season, which is convenient to develop golf tourism. Last January, the tourism department of the central provinces chaired by Danang established the Central Golf Association (Vietnam Golf Coast), we participated very actively because there are two golf courses, BRG Danang Golf Resort and one of Asia’s first embankment style golf course designed by Nicklaus.
After the establishment of the Central Golf Association, all BRG’s golf courses will coordinate with other members to produce common products, creating the power to attract tourists to the Central region – where there are many famous places, beautiful landscapes and beaches. This combination will contribute to increasing teamwork, helping us interact and support each other better, giving golf Central a colorful picture while creating a special attraction for not only domestic but also international golfers.
In the future, what is BRG Group planning to develop Vietnam’s golf tourism?
Currently, we are the leading group in Vietnam in terms of golf courses with the largest number of visitors, with the best landscape, the best quality and especially the rolling speed of the ball is very standard. In addition, we have also rated the best caddie quality in Vietnam, international club and utility houses. Therefore, BRG Golf is still the leading destination for golf tourism for tourists. In the future, we will continue to develop more golf courses in places where the landscape does not reach its full potential. We also plan to invite famous designers to create places that all travelers around the world must go to Vietnam if they want to explore.