Indonesia wants to overtake Singapore to become region's top golf tourism destination

By Hoang Phong    July 9, 2024 | 05:32 pm PT
Indonesia wants to overtake Singapore to become region's top golf tourism destination
Nirwana Bali Golf Club in Bali resort island of Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor
Indonesia aims to become a leading golf tourism spot in Southeast Asia as Singapore recently closed its only public 18-hole course.

"As Singapore has become more expensive and less affordable, we could provide [a golf tourism destination replacement] in Riau Islands, which has geographical proximity," Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said, as quoted by The Jakarta Post.

Marina Bay Golf Course has permanently closed after 18 years of operation to make way for restructuring of land use in Singapore, according to Bloomberg. The golf course was opened in November 2006 and was the first and only public 18-hole golf course in the city state.

The Indonesian government wants to turn Riau Islands Province into the country's golf tourism hub, Sandiaga added.

Located less than an hour's ferry ride from Singapore, the province is home to seven private and three public golf courses.

Thanks to the convenient proximity of the Riau Islands, golfers from Singapore can easily access the islands by ferry.

In addition, Indonesia has witnessed increased interest from international tourists, with many flocking to golf courses in Jakarta and Bali.

Indonesia receives around 250,000 golf tourists annually, Darma Mangkuluhur Hutomo, President Commissioner of Intra GolfLink Resorts, said, as quoted by news outlet Detik.

The figure is still lower compared to its neighbors such as Thailand (6 million), Vietnam (1.5 million) and Malaysia (500,000).

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