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Sri Lanka Tourism powers first IRONMAN event in South Asia

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  • The world’s leading triathlon enters the Sri Lankan market, showcasing Sri Lanka as a global destination for international sporting events  

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will be the title sponsor of the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo Triathlon, which will be held at Galle Face Green, Colombo on February 25. 

For the first time, Sri Lanka will be hosting over 850 triathletes from 63 countries. IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo will be the ideal platform to promote Sri Lanka to the world and showcase its readiness to host world-class sporting events.

“IRONMAN is one of the most iconic endurance events in the world, and we are happy to be associated with this event,” said Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga. “I have no doubt this event will offer an invaluable opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase its diverse attractions, infrastructure and readiness for a wide array of sports while cementing its place as an emerging destination for high profile sports tourism. We were excited to see that IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo as one of the fastest selling first time IRONMAN events in Asia, being oversubscribed two months before the closing date for entries.”

“Sports inspire every human being and this glamour event - IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo triathlon -will be a platform that persuades local athletes of every social stratum from the North to South of Sri Lanka to form teams and participate at this event that requires endurance, determination and skill. IRONMAN is a great platform to promote peace and goodwill amongst both local and international athletes as it will attract people from all parts of the world to come together to challenge themselves and share compassion and sportsmanship with their fellow athletes. The Ministry of Sports is proud to have teamed up with Sri Lanka Tourism to make this dream come true,” said Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara.

“The opportunity to be title sponsor of first edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo triathlon was one we could not pass up,” said SLTPB Managing Director Mr. Sutheash Balasubramanium. “It is part of our strategy at Sri Lanka Tourism to diversify the offering what Sri Lanka has to give the world, yes we do have the perfect destination for the leisure tourism but we needed to revisit our offering as a country with the growing global sports tourism market. The aligning with IRONMAN is part of our vision to make Sri Lanka the leading sports destination in South Asia. The biggest sell is that bringing events like IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to our country, we’re creating awareness amongst a new affluent audience which is into sports tourism.”

Sri Lanka Tourism has gained a landmark achievement by hosting events such as IRONMAN 70.3, gaining global recognition and also highlighting Sri Lanka as a preferred sports destination. This is the first event of this nature to be held on a larger scale, attracting a large number of high spending foreign visitors. The profile of the average IRONMAN participant is that 90% of them are professionals in numerous fields such as legal, retail, education, marketing, technology, medical, and financial. Further, the IRONMAN participants obtain an average household income of $ 175,000 and the average age is 41. The percentage of male participants in IRONMAN is 71% and the female participation is 29%.

IRONMAN 70.3 is one of the most recognised brands in the world, attracting high spending foreign tourists from across the globe,during the IRONMAN event Sri Lanka will see over 2000 athletes and their families visiting the country. The top six participating countries for IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo are India with 133 triathletes; United Kingdom has 69; France has 46 triathletes, there are 34 from Australia, 28 from USA, and 28 triathletes from Singapore. 

“As a company dedicated to quality and compassion, Pro Am Serendib is looking forward to working with key government organisations that have been tremendously supportive towards our initiative. We are looking forward to provide IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo athletes with a safe and rewarding experience. The race begins with a single-loop, 1.9 km swim starting at the beach adjoining Galle Face Green, followed by a flat and fast 90 km bike course and a 21.1 km run course that offers scenic country views and a fantastic finish in front of Galle Face Green,” said Pro Am Serendib Director Yasas Hewage.

IRONMAN 70.3 is organised by Pro Am Serendib, while title sponsor of the event is Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau. There are many local and international companies that have partnered the event which will help boost the local economy; partnering companies include Shangri-La Colombo, MAS, MTV/MBC Group, Dilmah, Siddhalepa, Advantis, Ceylinco VIP, Hayleys Tours, Wijeya Group and SIS. 

Pix by Gitika Talukdar


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