Sri Lanka Tourism, Pro-Am Serendib to promote sports tourism | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Tourism, Pro-Am Serendib to promote sports tourism

Julian Bolling and Yasas Hewage introduce the multi-sport brand Ironman.
Julian Bolling and Yasas Hewage introduce the multi-sport brand Ironman.

Sri Lanka Tourism and Pro-Am Serendib (Pvt) Ltd will bring the multi-sport event brand Ironman to Sri Lanka.

The Ironman 70.3 Colombo, is a qualifying round for triathletes to participate in the Ironman World Championship 2018 in South Africa. The event is due to be held on February 25, 2018 with a 1.9 km sea swim, 90 km bicycle ride and a 21.2 km run – all to be completed by a triathlete within an 8.5-hour period or a relay team.

Ironman has a history of over 37 years. However, there are none in the South Asian region and Sri Lanka is the only country in the region to host this event in 2018.

“We are excited about this announcement as we are expanding our portfolio of races – especially in South Asia where the number of IRONMAN athletes are growing every year,” said Asia Managing Director for Ironman, Geoff Meyer.

“We have been looking for the right partner to start our first event in South Asia and we are excited to work with Pro-Am Serendib (Pvt) Ltd., to organize a great race in Colombo,” he said.

So far, over 470 athletes have registered, with 1,200 family and friends confirmed from 53 countries to attend the event. A minimum of 300 liaison officers and 100 officials from Sri Lanka will be trained to officiate and thus will receive training from experts and international exposure within the country itself. This will provide the opportunity to build local ability and capacity to host international multi-sport endurance sporting events in Sri Lanka.

The event will contribute to Sri Lanka’s tourism revenue in 2018 and beyond with a truly international product for the ‘Affluent Traveller’ market and contribute to Colombo hotels and urban lifestyle businesses in 2018/19 by concentrating over 2,000 affluent tourists for five days occupying 1,000 rooms per night covering all key Colombo based star-class hotels along with another 5,000 rooms per night outside of Colombo focused towards the eight strategic product pillars of Sri Lanka Tourism.

Ironman 70.3 Colombo will pave the way for similar events by creating content for sport’s tourism marketing, capacity for event infrastructure, competency in terms of event management and international marketing and confidence with user and stakeholder endorsements and strategic associations.

Pro-Am Serendib is hopeful that Ironman 70.3 Colombo will become an annual event while putting Sri Lanka on the global triathlon map. The company hopes to hold a number of activities to promote the sport of triathlon in Sri Lanka to eventually achieve at least 20% local representation at the event.

The goal is to make Sri Lanka the destination of choice for IRONMAN events in Asia as Philippines is currently the leading destination in Asia for Ironman events.