Sri Lanka Golf partnered with world renowned marketing consultant Paul Smith, proprietor of PR Smith Marketing Consultants, in a move to take Sri Lankan golf to the next level by making a marriage between “Golf” and “Tourism”.
The event marked a historical milestone in the local golf journey amidst the presence of many dignitaries and potential partner companies such as Sri Lankan Airlines along with other golf enthusiasts. The event was graced by Chief Guest Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera – Minister of Sports while it was spearheaded by individuals such as Mr. Priyath Fernando – President of Sri Lanka Golf and Mr. De Saram – Immediate Past President along with Mr. Paul Smith.
This partnership is seeking to feed more prominence to the role of sports in boosting tourism in Sri Lanka by developing the game of golf in the island which in turn will have the potential to attract the “high-net-worth” tourist to Sri Lanka by promoting the country as an international golfing destination. Hence, the catchy slogan: “Journey through Paradise Island with Golf”.
Mr. Priyath Fernando in his nostalgic speech spoke of his early days in the golfing scene and his involvement in golf. He also explained the background in which Sri Lanka Golf operates and listed out a few misconceptions the local community has perceived about the sport. These include, golf being labeled as an “old rich man’s game”, that hazardous chemicals are being used to maintain the grass of the golf courses and that golf is a “white elephant” sport. He rebutted the misconceptions and re-iterated the fact that golf is “open to anyone”.
Furthermore, it was shown through the presentations made, that currently Sri Lanka attracts mostly Indian and Chinese tourists while tourists from countries such as the USA and UK are fewer. It was shown that the average spending per day per tourist who we currently attract is under 150 dollars. It was proposed that Sri Lanka too, follow a strategy similar to India’s, where they are low in numbers of tourists attracted but high in income per day per tourist, and that is because they market themselves to the “high-net-worth” tourist. This is where Sri Lanka Golf enters the scene to attract the much needed “high-net-worth” tourist.
Under this project, it is proposed to further improve the golf courses in the island while plans are being made to ease convenience of travelling between the different courses.
All in all it will be an ambitious task for Sri Lanka Golf and enthusiasts around the island are positive that this will soon be a reality.