New Phuket Laguna Triathlon Boosts Sport Tourism News Feed

New Phuket Laguna Triathlon Boosts Sport Tourism 

Having just celebrated its 23rd anniversary, last Sunday’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon was once a huge success with locals and visitors alike. This year’s event sported a new look – including a brand new bike course for the event, locatd inside the Laguna Phuket resort complex.

 

Athletes from all over the world flocked to the island to take part in the 1.8km swim, 50km bike ride and 12km run.  More than 1,000 athletes took part in the event, with more than 50 countries around the world represented. Michael Raelert (GER) and Amelia Rose Watkinson (NZL) took victories in a field of over 1,100 individual pro and age group athletes representing more than 40 nationalities with 55 relay teams and 6,000 Fun Runners crowded into Asia’s premier destination resort Laguna Phuket.

 

Although the Laguna Triathlon itself didn’t take place until Sunday 20 November, the event actually kicked off in late September with a special anniversary celebration at the Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok. Those who attended were entertained by Athiwara Khongmalai – one of Thailand’s favourite rock stars who has been a big fan of the triathlon since 2012.

Also in attendance were Promchote Traivate, inspector general office of the permanent secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports; Kajornkjet Rakpanitmanee, vice governor of Phuket and Ravi Chandran, managing director of Laguna Phuket. Numerous sponsor representatives from Thai Airways PLC and Cocomax also attended the bash.

 

“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been working on developing a framework for the future of Thailand’s sport tourism, a segment in which Thailand has a high potential to continue growing, both in its quantity and quality,” said Promchote. The inspector general also went on to say that the triathlon exemplified a strategic combination of sports and tourism that promotes the destination as a place for a healthy lifestyle, with plenty of international appeal.

 

“As the organiser of Asia’s longest standing triathlon race, it’s a delight to see the popularity of triathlon proliferated in new races in Thailand and the region while Laguna Phuket Triathlon, with its longevity and worldwide appeal, is being recognised internationally,” said Ravi Chandran of Laguna Phuket.

 

“This year in particular, it is an honour that Laguna Phuket Triathlon is shortlisted as a finalist in ‘Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand’ category at the Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia 2016,” he continued.

In recent years, sustainability has also become a key focus of the event, as well as its role in driving tourism on the island. “Not many years had passed before the triathletes felt a deep connection with our race and the communities surrounding it, and started asking how they can give back to the race,” said Chandran.

 

“Over the years, millions of baht have been raised through the Laguna Phuket Foundation to fund initiatives such as local school renovations, survival swimming teaching, a community learning centre and the Mobile Learning Centre for Children,” he said.

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