The nominees for 2012 included Malaysia, New Zealand, Vietnam plus Thailand’s Hua Hin, Pattaya and Phuket regions.
This prestigious award was voted for by over 400 global tour operator members of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
Pattaya City Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (left) accepts the award from Peter Walton, CEO of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
Previous winners included Malaysia and Thailand, but this is the first time that an actual region has won this award. Spain, the United States and Thailand are currently the big three international golf destinations, with Turkey and Portugal among developing countries that were rapidly increasing their golf tourism sectors.
Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, while accepting the award said, “Pattaya is already well known as a resort destination, however I hope that by winning this award, it will help give the destination a higher profile, and through increased marketing budgets, elevate Pattaya as a top international golf destination.”
Peter Walton President and Chief Executive of IGATO, commented, “The main reasons why they won this award were that our members found that Pattaya offered quality golf courses, good management, great service, value for money, and most importantly, that the local agents and tourist board were particularly supportive both to our members and of course their clients.”
Mike Mesommonta, spokesman for the Eastern Seaboard Golf Management Association added, “This award is a huge endorsement for all our members, who have worked very hard to create some top class golf courses in the region. Our courses attract thousands of foreign visitors and several major International tournaments every year, including the Thailand Open, the Pattaya Open and the Honda LPGA Open. We are lucky to be able to offer fine weather all year round, keeping our courses in perfect playing conditions 365 days every year, and perhaps are best secret weapon are the wonderful smiling caddies!”