Golf tourism will give new identity to Rajasthan: Industry stakeholders
Industry stakeholders said the future of golf tourism is bright in the state; setting up infrastructure for it will add another feather in the cap of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan, a popular tourist destination because of the Thar desert, national parks and historic forts and palaces, has now set its sights on promoting popular water activities and the niche segment of golf tourism. Several tourism industry stakeholders say the future of golf tourism is bright in the state as the allure of the sport is high worldwide and setting up infrastructure for golf will add another feather in the cap of Rajasthan, a land of diversity, culture, and hospitality.
The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) has already issued an Expression of Interest (EOI), seeking suggestions from interested parties regarding the development and operation of golf courses.
Looking at the high potential of the segment, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced in the state budget for 2023-24 that his government will develop international golf courses at five key tourist destinations, including Mount Abu (Sirohi), Jodhpur, and Udaipur. The RTDC was appointed the nodal agency for this.
"We have issued EOI seeking a response from interested firms by April 24. Based on their suggestions on the maintenance and operation of golf courses, assessment of technical criteria will be done and later, tenders will be floated," an official said.
The RTDC has also issued an EOI for water activities in the Nevta Dam, Kanota Dam (both in Jaipur), and Bandh Baretha (Bharatpur) to promote adventure tourism.
The official said activities such as boating, speed boating, zorbing, pontoon boat and banana boats will be introduced and facilities for tourists developed at these places.
Tour operator Sanjay Kaushik said footfall of golfers in tourist destination cities will give a boost to the tourism industry in the state.
"Every sector requires innovations and focusing on this niche segment will certainly give a new identity to Rajasthan on the world map," he said.
Kaushik said golfers come for leisure trips for three-four days and the amount of money they spend on these trips is higher than what a normal tourist spends.
He said a younger generation of golfers has also emerged and they like to explore more destinations.
Kaushik added that water adventure activities will also attract more tourists to the desert state.
Golfer Jaideep Bika said the golf tourism segment has huge potential as people from Japan often go to other countries for golfing, and if this segment is tapped by Rajasthan, it will take the tourism sector in the state to another level.
Hotelier Kunal Singh, who is also a golfer, said golf tourism is a huge segment. "This will not only increase revenue but also give an edge to the state at the international level," he added.