HANOI, 25 May 2015: Vietnam prepares to tee off its national golf course plan as golf becomes an increasingly attractive sport in the country.
Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Development Strategy Institute director, Bui Tat Thang, told local media that he has received a series of proposals from developers, requesting that their projects be included in the national golf course development plan 2020.
Golf is a lucrative component in tourism, as many foreign and domestic investors are keen to build golf courses in Vietnam often close to resort areas, but it is controlled by a national plan.
Vietnam is now home to 30 golf courses, with the majority located in the north and south and only four are located in the central region. Joint ventures firms , with foreign investors, as well a domestic developers are now keen to build more golf courses, Vietnam Investment Review reported last week.
Adding to its portfolio, which comprises of a 27-hole course in Hanoi and a 36-hole course in Ho Chi Minh City, Truong An Investment Development General Company Limited is planning a 199-hectare golf course in the Tam Chuc tourism area of Ha Nam, a northern province, at a cost of USD75 million.
Including Truong An, there are 19 developers that have included golf course projects.
In April, an inter-agency working group visited the northern port city of Haiphong to work with Haiphong Municipal People’s Committee on a proposed USD42.85 million 36-hole golf course backed by Vingroup on a 160-hectare site on Vu Yen island.
The working group is also considering an 18-hole golf course to be developed by T&K and Japan Real Estate Service Company on a 98-hectare site in Voi Mountain, An Lao district.
Around 19 other golf courses are under consideration by the government.
If they get the green light, Vietnam will have 114 golf courses that are identified in the national plan, the report said.
There is considerable opposition to golf course development in Vietnam, mainly because of the vast use of resources – land that is used by just a few privileged people, a high volume of water diverted from agriculture and encroachment on farm and natural heritage parks and zones.
In response, the government cancelled 76 proposed facilities, but it still approved 95 golf courses under its national plan.