Excise tax reduction could propel Vietnam’s golf tour attraction ambitions

October 23, 2023 | 09:18
(0) user say
There may be a huge potential for golf development in Vietman, but some of those involved in the industry say current special consumption tax rules are suppressing it.

Experts have in recent times proposed to remove or adjust the tax (SCT) to a lower level for golf business services to suit development demand. At an August seminar in the northern city of Haiphong on golf tourism destination, proposals were made for a 5-7 per cent rate for golfers instead of the current 20 per cent.

Excise tax reduction could propel Vietnam’s golf tour attraction ambitions
Excise tax reduction could propel Vietnam’s golf tour attraction ambitions, photo baodautu.vn

In addition, the south-central province of Quang Nam has proposed to abolish the tax on golf services altogether at a future date.

Vu The Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that to pull in high-paying tourists to Vietnam and to make Vietnam a high-end tourist market, the state should consider exempting or downgrading the tax to 10-5 per cent for tourists coming specifically to play golf.

At a March conference on tourism, Binh said, “An increasing number of tourists want to visit Vietnam to play golf. In 2019, Vietnam welcomed five million visitors from South Korea particularly, and more than one million of them came to the country to play golf, generating approximately a revenue of $2-3 billion.”

A tax reduction would improve the competitiveness of Vietnam’s golf tour compared to neighbouring countries, Binh added.

BRG Group, which runs several of the biggest golf courses in the country, said it plans to receive 380,000 visitors through international golf tournaments in total this year. To add to this, the company suggested the government reduce the current 10 per cent VAT and 20 per cent SCT to attract more tourists, as the rates are several percentage points higher than other countries.

In November 2022 at the World Golf Awards in Abu Dhabi, Vietnam took the title of Asia’s Best Golf Destination for the sixth consecutive year. The win was called remarkable next to competitors like Thailand, long been recognised as a superb golf tourism destination; Japan, with more than 2,000 spectacular elite courses; and South Korea, where the sport is wildly popular.

Not only has Vietnam claimed the title for the region for six years running, but it was also named the World’s Best Golf Destination in both 2019 and 2021 by the World Gold Awards.

Le Kien Thanh, who is chairman of the Vietnam Golf Association (VGA), said that high SCT stifles the development of the golf industry in general.

“Currently, the daily fees for golf in Thailand and Malaysia are about $50, but in Vietnam, it is around $85 due to the addition of SCT, despite the average income per capita in Vietnam being lower than in these countries. This barrier makes the Vietnamese golf industry unable to develop adequately,” Thanh said.

According to the VGA, golf is no longer a “noble” sport but has become a mass sport for everyone. Many countries have public golf courses that are completely free to use. The sport also brings health benefits and creates an ecosystem including many related business activities such as manufacturing, fashion, restaurants, and hotels.

“Therefore, eliminating the SCT for golf will be an important step to promote the development of the golf economy, and the state will gain more economic benefits than benefits gained from SCT on golf courses currently,” Thanh added.

The 16th annual Swing for the Kids charity golf tournament from VIR took place on October 21 at the BRG Kings Island Golf Resort in the Son Tay area of Hanoi, on the Mountain View and Lakeside golf courses. The tournament attracted more than 250 golfers.

Over the past 16 years, the event has raised over $850,000 and handed out almost 20,000 scholarships to outstanding young students across the country in need of financial support. It has also facilitated upgrades to learning facilities in 40 cities and provinces.

The event has received enthusiastic support and long-time companionships from its benefactors, including BRG Group and SeABank (as co-organisers), Samsung Electronics Vietnam (diamond sponsor), Vingroup (platinum sponsor), Kinderworld, PetroVietnam, and Everygolf Vietnam (gold sponsors), Vietnam Beverages, BRG Group’s Bob Parsons, Sun Group, and Vinamika (silver sponsors), and DOJI Jewelry Group JSC and CONINCO (bronze sponsors).

Hole-in-One sponsors for the first time include Seven Stars, Gelex Group, Vietnam Golf Group, Seven Golf, and Vip Customer Care Service.

Other sponsors include Inochi, Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, Ngoc Han Boutique, Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation, Real Bean Coffee, 22 JSC, VinFast, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam, and Japanese buffet restaurant Okita.

250 golfers tee off at 16th Swing for the Kids charity golf event 250 golfers tee off at 16th Swing for the Kids charity golf event

The Swing for the Kids charity golf event returned on October 21 with the participation of nearly 250 golfers.

Swing for the Kids charity event supported by dozens of sponsors Swing for the Kids charity event supported by dozens of sponsors

In addition to long-term sponsors, the 16th annual Swing for the Kids received new support from the likes of Coninco, Gelex, Vinamika, Seven Stars, and more.

Swing for the Kids 2023 breaks fundraising records Swing for the Kids 2023 breaks fundraising records

The 16th Swing for the Kids charity golf event raised $126,600 through domestic and foreign donors, the biggest amount for the event ever.

By Hanh Phuc

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional