Sri Lanka steels for IRONMAN Colombo, a major boost for sport and recreational tourism
Steely resolve forged in the crucible of one of sport’s most demanding events—the triathlon—will test the metal of hundreds of super-athletes in Sri Lanka next year.
The IRONMAN challenge is now firmly established as a global event, with qualifying races taking place across the world in the run-up to World Championship 2018 in South Africa.
The Sri Lanka half-triathlon event is scheduled for February 25, and includes a 1.9 km sea swim, 90 km bike ride and a 21.2 km run—half the regular triathlon distances, completed within an 8.5-hour period.
The DailyFT reports that quite apart from the sporting spectacle, IRONMAN Sri Lanka is an ideal opportunity to boost sport and recreational tourism.
“It could become the single most impactful tourism initiative for Colombo city hotels and urban lifestyle businesses in 2018/19 by concentrating over 2,000 affluent tourists for five days occupying 1,000 rooms per night.
“This would include all key Colombo based star-class hotels, as well as another 5,000 rooms per night outside of Colombo. It is estimated that during the event Sri Lanka’s economy will directly benefit from the spending by these travellers with as much as $4 million, in addition to driving economic activities through increased employment and activities of local industries including local cottage industries.”
It is hoped that IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo will position Sri Lanka as a hub for active sports tourism in South Asia by 2020 and pave the way for similar events by creating content for sport’s tourism marketing.
It will also offer a unique Sri Lankan experience, including a four-day expo of cultural activities that will be a part of the event to enhance brand Sri Lanka to the world.
This will showcase Sri Lankan handicrafts, gems, jewellery, handloom products, spices and tea, and promote environmentally sustainable tourism “as IRONMAN events are environmentally friendly and leave little or no carbon footprint as it is fully powered by human spirit”.
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