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Niseko Seeks To Attract Golf Tourists

Niseko Seeks To Attract Golf Tourists

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December 19th, 2011

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Niseko Japan

Niseko, Japan, December 19 — Renowned for its perfect powder snow in winter, Japan’s ski capital of Niseko is making a pitch to become as well known for its summer attractions – especially golf – as other all-season destinations like Whistler in Canada, Jackson Hole in the United States and Queenstown, New Zealand.

The launch this week of golf packages for Summer 2012 under the new banner of Yotei Golf is Niseko’s signal to the world’s 50-million golf tourists – especially those in Asia/Pacific, Europe and North America – that it wants a slice of the growing market.

‘Yotei’ refers to the volcanic mountain that is the centrepoint of all outdoor activities near Niseko in western Hokkaido, the most northern of Japan’s four major islands. Locals refer to Mt Yotei as ‘Ezo Fuji’ – or Hokkaido’s Mt Fuji – because of its close resemblance to Japan’s most famous mountain on the adjacent island of Honshu.

Yotei Golf has launched a website (www.yoteigolf.com) that features a special land package of seven nights accommodation in a modern western-style condominium complex, five rounds of golf and airport transfer plus car hire for 81,500 yen (approx. $US1100) quad share to 113,750 yen (approx. $US1550) for twin share. Airfares to and from Sapporo are additional.

Initially, seven Niseko golf courses are participating in the program, which will start at the end of the current ski season in May. They include an Arnold Palmer-designed course, Niseko Fukui, its sister course, Niseko Village, and another, Hanozono, that is regarded as among the best of Hokkaido’s 170 courses.

Some of the courses are at the base of ski fields, or use facilities that host skiers and snowboarders in winter.

All courses are of a high international standard and are within easy reach of Niseko Hirafu, the region’s major accommodation centre, which also has a wide choice of local and international restaurants.

“With a great selection of courses at reasonable prices, Niseko offers a wonderful golf experience,” says Peter Murphy, the Australian founder of one of Niseko’s major inbound tour operators, SkiJapan.com, who has launched the Yotei Golf promotion.

“Not many people outside Japan realise what the region offers in spring, summer and autumn, but with the launch of Yotei Golf, golf travellers can now add Hokkaido to their future travel considerations.

“As well as golf, there is white water rafting, sea kayaking, cycling and mountain biking, onsen mineral spring baths and you can hike to the top of Mt Yotei if you’re fit enough.”

In November, the Japan National Tourism Organisation participated in golf tourism’s major annual showcase, the International Golf Travel Market, held in Belek, Turkey, where it announced its intention to promote golf tourism.

Two of the major misconceptions about playing golf in Japan are that it is expensive and difficult to access. But since the Japan’s economic bubble burst in the mid-1990s, the cost of playing golf has declined dramatically. Now, most of Japan’s 2400 golf courses – second in number only to the United States – are open to visitors at attractive prices.

“Japan is in a very lucky situation. It has a wonderful golf destination, but it’s totally undiscovered,” IAGTO’s chief executive, Peter Walton, said after a visit in August. “It’s great value for money with some of the best golf you’ll play anywhere in the world, as well as offering a wonderful culture and environment, food and wine and the best sake you’ll ever have.”

For more information about Yotei Golf packages, visit www.yoteigolf.com or call +612 9938 9900.

Photo download: Mt Yotei (behind) from the Niseko Village course.

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For more photos & information, contact:

Paul Myers, Asian Travel Media, Bangkok

Email: paul@asiantravelmedia.com

Tel: +66 (0) 84 125 1894

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