Probably you remember, that on October 2017 I wrote about Tbilisi’s and Georgia’s first golf resort, the Tbilisi Hills Golf Resort. It is the first 18-hole golf course (6,300m; Tilander Golf Design) of Tbilisi and Georgia.
The developers of Tbilisi Hills Golf Resort don’t stop at building only a golf course, they also plan to build a hotel, leisure facilities and hundreds of luxurious homes on a hillside real estate.
One of their dreams also, to become the host venue for a European Tour tournament. They already have the full support of the Ministry of Sports for Georgia.
Most recently, the Tbilisi Hills Golf Resort became a European Tour Destination.
Tbilisi Hills Golf Resort – an entertainment center of the town
Although there is a big temptation to follow international examples and best practices, first of all, they will need to gain acceptance locally and integrate themselves into the life of Tbilisi.
As we are in the experience economy, providing a golf experience itself will not be enough to convince and impress people to come to the Tbilisi Hills Golf Resort. They have to come up with services and facilities that are relevant to various customer types and segments and can provide value to their customers.
If I were the club manager, I would invest in human relationships to create a community that will motivate the members and guests to spend more and more time in the golf club.
As we know from the Cohn&Wolfe’s TOP 100 authentic brand study, 88% of global customers will reward a brand for its authenticity. This a great way not just to build trust among golf travelers, but also among local Georgians as well. Authenticity should be expressed in interior design, gastronomy, and hospitality.
Let’s not forget that Georgia is famous for its cca. 8000 years old wine tradition.
I know for many golf travelers to know that a golf course in a foreign country is a member of a well-known network (in this case the European Tour Properties) is a reinforcement that it cannot be a bad golf experience. All this happens because we want to make low-risk decisions about a not so well-known service or product.
Nevertheless, the investment in becoming a European Tour Destination does not worth much if it cannot generate sufficient amount of sales and revenue.
It is a great asset in a golf club’s marketing arsenal, but the golf club will still have to come up with a meaningful, omnichannel customer experience for its potential and existing customers.
Georgia takes tourism industry seriously
The country’s overall goal is to reach $6.6 billion in tourism dollars by 2025. The Georgian government signed even strategic partnerships with Google and travel websites such as Tripadvisor and Expedia. Among the future plans of the country we can find:
- Building 25 new hotels in next two years,
- Improve infrastructure,
- Work with locals to develop guest houses along the Black Sea coast and elevate tourism standards.