Vietnam Golf Coast (VGC) clubs are capitalizing on a substantial surge of visitors from South Korea and other countries in East Asia.
In doing so, they are displaying the region’s credentials as a year-round golf destination that is perfectly suited for visitors from countries with unfriendly winter climes.
According to data from the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism, South Korea has become the leading source market for Vietnam, with over 2.3 million South Korean visitors recorded in the first eight months of 2023. This marks a remarkable 16-fold increase compared to the same period in 2022.
This trend is currently playing out at leading golf clubs like Laguna Golf Lang Co and Ba Na Hills Golf Club over the winter months where visitors from East Asian countries are swapping cold weather in their home countries for perfect golf conditions.
“Visitors from countries in East Asia certainly appreciate Central Vietnam for its plentiful golf options,” said Stephen Banks, Director of Golf at Laguna Golf Lang Co. “Not only does the region have layouts of the very highest caliber, but it also offers good conditions for year-round golf, a factor that explains the huge popularity of the destination during the winter months.”
Indeed, VGC clubs are rolling out the red carpet for East Asian guests. At Laguna Lang Co — where award-winning resorts Banyan Tree Lang Co and Angsana Lang Co, and the Laguna Parkside Residences Lang Co private townhouses, bolster accommodation options alongside the golf course, a Sir Nick Faldo Signature Design — the addition of a skilled new Korean chef is making visitors feel right at home.
Great flight connections are boosting Central Vietnam’s popularity with Koreans. In addition to the convenient flight time of approximately five hours, multiple airlines are now offering up to 20 direct flights daily, connecting major South Korean cities such as Seoul and Busan to Danang.
Visitors from other East Asian countries are also capitalizing on better flight links with Central Vietnam.
In late March, national carrier Vietnam Airlines resumed its popular route between Danang and Tokyo, Japan’s capital. There’s also been a ramping up of services between Danang and tier-one Chinese cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. Other new routes launched in 2023 include services linking Danang with Taipei in Taiwan and Macau.
Eight years ago, Danang was primarily known to East Asian tourists for its golf options. However, the current trend reflects a broadening of preferences, with visitors now embracing a diverse range of experiences, including culinary exploration, various entertainment options, luxury resorts, pristine beaches, and cultural attractions.
With high-quality golf combined with incredible beaches and luxury accommodations like the award-winning properties at Laguna Lang Co, Central Vietnam is Vietnam’s hub for golf tourism. It offers a range of attractions, including heritage sites in history-steeped Hue (an hour north of Laguna Lang Co) and Hoi An and the Golden Bridge at Sun World Ba Na Hills: a 150-metre-long pedestrian bridge that is one of Asia’s most photographed landmarks.
“The destination offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from culinary delights to entertainment and cultural immersion,” added Gary Dixon, general manager of Ba Na Hills Golf Club. “The availability of numerous direct flights connecting major cities in East Asian countries with Danang has further facilitated seamless access for travelers.”