Über-luxury Sri Lanka hotel and IRONMAN sporting excellence forge partnership to boost tourism


The recently opened über-luxury Shangri-La hotel in Sri Lanka capital city Colombo signals the next stage of this paradise island’s development as a global tourist destination.

It is part of One Galle Face, billed as “Colombo’s first internationally developed and managed integrated lifestyle destination and mixed-use development”.

And it underscores a belief raidly gaining traction among global marketeers that “brands must align themselves with experiences that speak to affluent consumers’ desire for a personal evolution”.

In this case, ‘personal evolution’ means the kind of extreme sporting achievement personified by the international IRONMAN triathlon events now taking place prior to the World Championship 2018 in South Africa.

And for Sri Lanka it means IRONMAN 7.3 Colombo, scheduled for February 25 next year and including a 1.9 km sea swim, 90 km bike ride and a 21.2 km run.

Skift, an industry intelligence platform providing media, insights and marketing to key sectors of travel, reports that the Shagri-La is partnering with IRONMAN to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism appeal.

Says Shangri-La director of sales and marketing Chris McFall: “There’s a strategic push to position Sri Lanka as a preferred destination for world-class events.

“There have been 255 Ironman branded events globally, and none have been held in the South Asian region until now. Both Ironman and Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo are working to put Sri Lanka on the map for global sporting events.

“Ironman is driven by the passion of its athletes who believe that anything is possible when the limits of endurance are pushed. As a global brand Shangri-La believes in pushing the limits and exceeding guest expectations.”

Says Skift: “Beyond the obvious business goals, the Shangri-La and Ironman partnerships allows each brand to borrow brand elements from the other and relay those to their customers.

“The legacy and elegance of the Shangri-La brand lends its air of luxury and exclusivity to Ironman, which brings its own strong brand affinities with passion, dedication and performance.”

An Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The ‘70.3’ refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race.

Read more here.

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