Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien presented the appointment decision to Norman at a ceremony held in Hanoi on October 31.

Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien (R) presenting the appointment decision to Australian professional golfer Greg Norman

Speaking at the ceremony, Thien said the selection has taken into account Norman’s contributions to Vietnam.

He stressed that Vietnam has favourable locations and resources to develop golf tourism and that the ambassador will help make the country a high-profile destination on the global golf map.

Born in 1955, Greg Norman had 331 weeks ranking first on the Official World Golf Rankings in the 1980s and 1990s. “The Great White Shark,” as he has been dubbed by golf fans, has won over 90 international tournaments.

During and after his professional sporting career, Norman has also been an active businessman. He currently serves as the chairman and CEO of the Greg Norman Company, a global corporation with a portfolio of subsidiary companies in fields like apparel, interior design, real estate, private equity, golf course design, and more.

Norman has worked in Vietnam for 12 years and his company has designed several golf courses in the country, most notably the Bluff Ho Tram Strip in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

In taking over the ambassador post, he has designed a specific action plan that covers writing articles and making videos to promote Vietnam’s golf courses at home and abroad. Norman also intends to bring international golf events and tournaments to Vietnam.

Before Norman, there were five previous ambassadors appointed, with Vietnamese actress Ly Nha Ky as the first, serving the 2011-2012 tenure. Ky was remembered for her achievements in encouraging people to vote for Ha Long Bay as one of the seven new wonders of the world.

Ky’s successors were New Zealand chief Bobby Chinn as ambassador to Europe from July 2014 to July 2017, and Anoa Suzanne Dussol Perran, a French national of Vietnamese origin, as ambassador to France for 2015-2018.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Director of the Hollywood movie “Kong: Skull Island”, is also named among these ambassadors serving the 2017-2020 tenure. He has worked to promote Vietnamese tourism by inviting foreign film producers, directors and actors to the country.

Most recently, Ly Xuong Can, a descendant of King Ly Thai To – the first king of the Ly dynasty (1010-1225) – was appointed Vietnam’s tourism ambassador to the Republic of Korea for the 2017-2020 tenure.

Source: VNA