Korean golfers head to Japan lured by cheaper options

2023. 6. 7. 09:45
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[Photo by MK DB]
South Korean golfers are flocking to Japan to enjoy the outdoor game as the country offers cheaper fees and other travel attractions.

According to multiple sources from the travel industry on Tuesday, many of the major golf resorts in Hokkaido are fully booked with Korean golfers. A Korean travel agency dedicated to offering golf packages to Japan, for instance, advertised to go on a summer trip to Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido and all of the planned 2,500 tickets were sold out in three weeks.

Hokkaido is regarded as a golf mecca as it offers pleasant weather. Rusutsu Resort, one of the major golf resorts in the island, is fully booked for both the golden times on weekdays and weekends in July and August. Half of the resort guests are Koreans.

Three other nearby golf resorts are also packed with Koreans.

Fukuoka is another destination in Japan that is popular among Korean golfers that comes with cheaper expense. Golf courses are receiving calls from Korean travelers for booking inquiry.

While golf courses in Japan enjoy a sharp rise in golfers, Korean clubs are worried as they greet less players.

According to recent data unveiled by Jeju Special Self-governing Province, 32 golf courses in the island saw the number of golfers fall by 150,000 in the first quarter from the same period a year ago.

Korean golf players consider Japan a good alternative to enjoy the sport for cost reasons.

Data from Korea Leisure Industry Institute showed that the green fees at public golf courses in Korea rose 30.1 percent for weekdays and 20.9 percent for Saturdays in May from the same period in 2020. This means that golfers in Korea need to pay 235,400 won ($181.3) more during the weekdays and 288,400 won during the weekends from three years ago.

The green fees at public golf courses in Japan, on the other hand, are priced at about 150,000 won. Golf resorts offer a golf package that includes accommodation and three meals at 200,000~300,000 won.

Industry insiders note that Japan is an attractive destination for Korean golfers as a three-day golf trip to the neighboring country is cheaper than fees in Jeju Island.

There are also other travel attractions and facilities.

Japan has established an all-round tourism infrastructure, such as the operations of 22 airport duty-free stores and other shopping services.

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