The beach resort city of Pattaya will be transformed into Asia's major "golf hub" in November when the international golf industry descends upon this vibrant tourist destination.
A total of four international golf business conferences and a major international golf merchandise exhibition will be staged in Pattaya from October 31 to November 6.
The events, organized by the Asia Pacific Golf Group will include:
- Inaugural ASEAN Golf Tourism Forum
The patron for all of the events is the Mayor of Pattaya, Mr Itthiphol Kunplome. He said, "We are delighted that the Asia Pacific Golf Group has selected to stage its international golf conferences and exhibitions in Pattaya and I am confident that Pattaya will prove to be a very successful venue." This is the second year running that the Asia Pacific Golf Group is holding its events in Thailand – last year, its events were staged in Bangkok.
The 2011 events will be staged at the plush Royal Cliffs Hotels Group and the world class Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH).
"I think we can safely say that never before have so many golf business events been organised and staged in one venue anywhere in the world - it is most definitely a world's first" declared Mika Sebastian, chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Golf Group (APGG), the owner and producer of all of the events.
"We are delighted that the Asia Pacific Golf Group has decided to use Thailand and Pattaya as a staging point for their golf business conferences and this carnival approach is good for both Thailand and the golf industry in general," said Mr Sansern Ngaorungsi, the Deputy Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
TAT, together with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) are the co-sanctioning partners of all the events.
"We are indeed honoured that the APGG have been able to grow their events so quickly in Thailand – it goes to show that Thailand has what it takes to play host to major international golf conferences and events and it all augurs well for Thailand becoming a major golf hub in Asia, "said Mr Akapol Sorasuchart, president of TCEB.
The governor of SAT, Mr Kanokphand Chulakasem weighed in by declaring, "The APGG has really helped to position Thailand as a major force in the golf business world. Last year, against a backdrop of civil disturbances in Bangkok, APGG staged very successful conferences and they brought to Thailand some of the legends of the game of golf which included Gary Player, Greg Norman and Annika Sorenstam. "
For the 2011 Asia Pacific Golf Summit, the organisers have been able to confirm the attendance of British golfing legend Tony Jacklin, who was the most successful British player of his generation. He was also the most successful European Ryder Cup captain ever. Jacklin won two majors.
In 1969, he became the first British player to win The Open Championship for 18years. The following season he won the U.S. Open. It was the only victory by a European player in an 84-year span (1926-2009). "I am looking forward to visiting Asia again and to be able to see first-hand the giant strides that golf is making in the region," Jacklin said.
The other celebrity guest is tennis legend Jimmy Connors. "Jimbo" as he is popularly referred to is a former world number 1 tennis super-star. He held the top ranking for a total of 268 weeks during which time he won eight Grand Slam singles titles and two Grand Slam doubles titles. In a recent poll, the Wall Street Journal reported that Connors is ranked as the all-time greatest tennis player.
A total of some 50 international speakers have already confirmed their attendance at this year's conferences.
"The Asia Pacific Golf Summit is the lead event and as such will feature the most number of speakers and panellists," Sebastian revealed. He went on to add, ' We have selected the theme "Challenge Of Change" and this will serve as the platform to address some of the pressing challenges confronting the golf industry and to throw up a whole range of solutions."