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Local golf courses boom, nudge international travel


Local golf courses and ranges are booming here as overseas travels remain restricted while outdoor activities are considered relatively safer amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry sources said Sunday.

Golf tour reservations rose 300 percent on-year in June, according to Korea’s travel agency Very Good Tour.

“The actual demand must be a lot higher considering how Koreans do not tend to hire travel agencies to play golf here. It is very difficult to book a golf course even on weekdays,” the firm’s official said.

Market watchers noted that the resort industry which operates golf courses has seen full reservations on weekdays as well as weekends.

According to Hanwha Resort, the average number of reservation teams for five major golf courses, including Plaza CC in Yongin, Seorak and Jeju regions, Jade Palace Golf Club in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, and Golden Bay Golf & Resort in Taean, Chungnam Province, rose 110 percent from last year.

As for Phoenix condo in Pyeongchang, the reservation rate rose 125 percent between March and May on-year.

“During weekdays, golf courses are fully booked. We are operating at full staff now but they are expected to be busier when the summer vacation season begins in earnest,” a Phoenix official said.

This trend shows how many Korean enthusiasts who have often taken overseas golf tours during warm seasons are opting to play at domestic venues.

In addition, golf has been considered a relatively safer activity outdoors involving only a small group of people.

According to a survey about the pandemic impact on domestic travel conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization last month on 19,529 Koreans, a large number of respondents said they prefer “outdoor places” and “traveling alone or will a small group of people.” 

By Shin Ji-hye (
Korea Herald Youtube