Here is a summary of an article I wrote for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). It gives some great advice on choosing a golf travel agent both here in Thailand and also the rest of the world. The original post can be sen at the TAT web site.
For anyone selecting a golf holiday, choosing the right golf tour operator is of paramount importance.
With the internet now providing so much information, and more and more transactions being completed in this manner, the lack of ‘face to face’ communication means that you should ensure you are dealing with a reputable and well established company.
There is no doubt that the internet is a great source of information, but it also gives some less scrupulous companies the opportunity to try to market their services, although not quite providing a product that you were promised. This can leave you both disillusioned and out of pocket after spending on an over priced product.
However, by simply making some careful background checks, you can ensure you select a company that will give you a golf holiday of great value.
For any golfing holiday in Thailand, your first step should be to ensure that the travel agent is registered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which is the industry’s regulatory body.
All members must adhere to strict codes of conduct and provide detailed company information on both their directors, and their financial status. Financial viability is also a strict criteria of membership, and all companies must pay a ‘bond’ to the regulator as part of their membership. Any breach would lead to them being removed from the register. This is easy to check and most travel agents will display the relevant information on their website.
Also, check up how long the company has been in operation. Experience is worth its weight in gold in the travel business, and a company that has an established record of organizing golf tours, is much more likely to provide first class organization and service. In addition, they are likely to have long standing relationships with many of the hotels and golf courses which can only be of additional benefit.
Upon selection of one or two potential agents, ask as many questions as possible during the initial stages of your inquiry. An agent who takes the time and effort to build up a dialog with you is more committed to securing your custom than the many agents who are only interested in the end result.
Ask for recommendations on particular locations and courses – and why. You can then compare this with others and soon see who has your best interests at heart!
Try reviewing some ‘golf travel forums’ and blogs, where people are invited to post comments about services and products. There are often comments left by previous customers, or a simple thing may be to ask the question about a particular tour company, and if anyone has heard of them or used them.
Only recently, we were pleasantly surprised to see on a couple of sites where someone had posted a question that they were considering a golf trip to Thailand, and wanted some information and any recommended tour companies. On both occasions, previous customers had recommended Golfasian as a company that could provide a first class service with a custom-made holiday exactly made to their requirements.
All of this will ensure you are dealing with an established and proficient company that provides value for money. However, remember that cheapest is not always best.
The advantage of using a golf tour operator is that they will take all the responsibility of securing your accommodation, golf course bookings, and transport arrangements during your holiday. With the expertise of knowing how local business works, together with the potential language complications, this will ensure that from the moment you arrive in Thailand, you will have the maximum free time to enjoy every aspect of your golf tour, without any worries and concerns.