Home Outbound Attractions Topgolf Thailand – A ‘Game’ Changer in the South East Asia Market

Topgolf Thailand – A ‘Game’ Changer in the South East Asia Market

Tim Boda, Managing Director, Topgolf Thailand
Tim Boda, Managing Director, Topgolf Thailand

In a detailed conversation with Tim Boda, Managing Director, Topgolf Thailand, the nuances of their strategic business expansion and deep dive into the Indian B2B travel trade market were revealed. Tim Boda’s experience in the hospitality sector has profoundly influenced the direction and innovation at Topgolf, setting the stage for a dynamic integration of sports, leisure, and corporate engagement.

– Vartik Sethi

Tim Boda, a veteran of the hospitality industry, has spent the last 24 years in Thailand after an equal number of years in Zurich. His journey before Topgolf saw him at the helm of various five-star hotels and leading the food and beverage operations globally for Minor Hotels, known for its Anantara and Avani brands. Transitioning to Topgolf was marked by seizing a “very unique opportunity”.

TG SEA secured exclusive franchise rights to introduce the Topgolf experience across Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. The first Topgolf venue in Bangkok opened one and a half years ago, a pioneering project aimed at cementing the brand in the local market—a goal that has been successfully achieved. Today, Topgolf is a recognised name in Bangkok, mirroring its two-decade-long legacy in the U.S.

Topgolf Thailand

Topgolf Thailand

Strategic Focus on the Indian Market

With the foundation firmly laid in Bangkok, Topgolf is now turning its attention to inbound tourism, with a significant focus on the Indian market. India, known for its vast and varied traveller profiles—from backpackers and luxury travellers to large wedding parties—presents a dynamic market for Topgolf. The recent visa exemptions have made Thailand an even more attractive destination for Indian tourists, aligning perfectly with Topgolf’s diverse offerings.

Tim Boda emphasises the adaptability of Topgolf to various segments of visitors throughout the day: professional golfers in the morning, families in the afternoon, and social seekers at night. The venue’s design accommodates up to 1,800 people, making it ideal for large events and casual visits alike.

Innovation and Localisation

A key aspect of Topgolf’s strategy is its innovative use of technology and local cultural integration. Each venue is tailored to reflect local tastes and demands. For instance, the Bangkok venue boasts an extensive menu that includes Thai, Tex-Mex, Californian, Japanese, and Indian cuisines, catering to the cosmopolitan nature of its visitors.

Moreover, the integration of technology sets Topgolf apart. The use of microchipped golf balls and top tracer cameras that capture the flight and speed of each shot enhances the playing experience by gamifying traditional golf. These technological advancements not only attract seasoned golfers but also provide a fun, engaging experience for newcomers.

Corporate Engagement and Sustainability

Corporate social responsibility and sustainability are at the heart of Topgolf’s operations. Tim Boda detailed initiatives such as zero waste to landfill, extensive use of solar power, and the employment of ozone solutions to minimise chemical use. The Indian corporate sector, with its robust demand for innovative MICE destinations, finds a great partner in Topgolf Thailand.

Looking Ahead

As Topgolf prepares to expand further into Southeast Asia with upcoming venues in Jakarta and other major cities, the focus remains sharply on penetrating the Indian market deeper. Plans for 2024 include extensive marketing initiatives, participation in trade shows, and hosting familiarisation trips for Indian corporate giants.

Tim Boda’s vision for Topgolf extends beyond just being a leisure activity provider. It is about creating a community hub where technology, sustainability, and cultural diversity converge to offer a holistic entertainment and engagement platform. Topgolf Thailand has established itself as a pivotal player in Southeast Asia’s travel and leisure industry, particularly appealing to the burgeoning Indian travel market.