It is not only on the economic part, but also on the sports side that Cambodia’s progress is being recognized internationally.
This week, the Kingdom was among the awardees in the prestigious 20th annual IAGTO Awards where it was feted as an up-and-coming golfing destination in the world. Cambodia received the 2020 Undiscovered Golf Destination award during the awarding ceremony held last week at Marrakech, Morocco.
Last year, the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year award went to Logronio-La Rioja, Spain.
The IAGTO Awards, which is organized yearly by the International Association of Golf Operators (IAGTO), recognizes the best golfing destinations and golf courses in the world. To come up with the winners, IAGTO solicited the opinions of golf writers, golf tour operators, and golf travelers.
The 20th IAGTO Awards was a double celebration for Cambodia as Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort in Siem Reap won the Golf Resort of the Year- Asia-Pacific award.
The other award winners are The Algarve, Portugal (Golf Destination of the Year-Worldwide), Adare Manor, Ireland (Golf Resort of the Year-Europe, Middle East and Africa), and Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico (Gold Destination of the Year- Americas.
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said in an IAGTO media release that they were happy to get the recognition. “We are delighted that Cambodia has been recognized by the world’s leading golf travel writers as the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year,” he said.
According to him, many golf travelers from Asia and beyond have already experienced the fantastic cluster of golf courses in Siem Reap – namely Angkor Golf Resort, Phokeethra Golf & Country Club and Booyoung Country Club, all within minutes of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat.
“With the opening this year of the Nick Faldo designed 36-hole Vattanac Golf Resort in our capital Phnom Penh, to partner Garden City Golf Resort, Phnom Penh Golf & Country Club and the Grand Phnom Penh Golf Club, Cambodia is now a genuine two-centre golf destination,” he pointed out.
“We know that golf travellers around the world are looking for new destinations and new high quality golf experiences, and with this wonderful combination of golf alongside both ancient and modern culture, so easily accessible to anyone looking to travel to South East Asia, we look forward to welcoming thousands of first time golf visitors to Cambodia,” he added.
Cambodia’s reputation as a golfing destination has grown in the last few years, with the Kingdom starting to receive more foreign golfers and hosting major international and local golfing events.
Early this year, Cambodia was the venue of the 8th annual Asia Golf Tourism Convention. Prior to that, the Kingdom hosted several major competitions like the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic, 2010 Cambodian Open, 2019 Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng Golf Tournament, First Chevrolet Golf Tournament (2013), Ballantines Team-Am Challenge (2017), and annual Prime Minister Cup.
From November 15-17, 2019, Siem Reap will host the Cambodia leg of the inaugural Asia Golf Championship.