There are many reasons why Thailand, but particularly Cha-Am and Hua Hin, was so popular with Norwegians pre-Covid-19. With the Wirkola Cup golf tournament set to return after a Covid-enforced absence for the past two years, the signs are good that Norwegians travellers are ready to return.
The most obvious reasons for this popularity are the climate, the food, the golf courses and just having an inexpensive good time. A holiday may start as just a short break from the chilling Nordic winter, but for many their break is stretched over many weeks or months. But this doesn’t answer the question about why this Region is chosen over other Thai holiday locations.
One simple answer is Edgar Huus Skjonhals and his company Orkide Ekspressen. In 2015 Edgar’s personal promotion of tourism to the region, spanning a period of over 30 years, was recognised in a big way by invited guests at a ceremony in Cha-Am which included the Governor of Phetchaburi Province.
The recognition included the presentation of ‘Keys to the Cities’; that is the cities of Cha-Am and Hua Hin. As far as we are aware, this was an unprecedented honour for a foreigner.
Orkide Ekspressen is now organising the Wirkola Cup golf tournament for the 10th time, two years later than planned. This is an event which really heralds both the return of visiting Norwegian golfers to the region, but also the return of non-golfing Nordic tourists to Cha-Am; their favourite home-away-from-home.
The Wirkola Cup is named after Bjørn Wirkola, a legendary World and Norwegian ski jumping champion who has long since given away that sport for the gentler game of golf. He is the namesake and tour host for the Annual Wirkola Cup which is set to return from 16th October to 10th November this year.
The Norwegian golfing website ‘golferen.no’ describes the tournament as: “a textbook example of a social golfing tournament”, despite the challenges for Norwegian golfers who have just completed the Norwegian golfing season, including managing speedy greens, warm weather (hot for them) and high humidity.
Arrangements always include gala dinners and imported Norwegian entertainers to make for a full and very sociable schedule.
There’s a cautious optimism from local golfing organiser Kolbjørn Moe that this will be a most successful event. He’s hoping that the event will again herald the return of many more Norwegian travellers to bolster Cha-Am’s tourism scene and the return of a high season to the region.
Our warm welcome (varm velkomst) to all the visiting ‘Wirkolas’!