The renowned Ironman triathlon will be venturing into fresh territories in India and Thailand next year, as well as bringing the event to other cities in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Geoff Meyer, managing director of Ironman Asia, told TTG Asia that demand for triathlons in Asia is “growing dramatically”. To illustrate the overwhelming demand, Meyer cited the recent triathlon in Japan where there were 320,000 applications for 35,000 available spots.
Wildly acclaimed as one of the toughest single-day sporting events – where triathletes have to swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and run 42km in a single race – Meyer said these events often translate to plenty of tourism dollars for the host destination.
He said: “The economic impact is huge as many local and foreign athletes will join the event. It raises the profile of the city, and government bodies and tourism organisations can expect exceptional economic returns on their investment.”
Although the event is completed within a day, athletes often stay on to explore the destination, and more often than not travel in family groups or with friends who support then.
Meyer said: “These triathletes are not there for just one weekend. Some would even travel there beforehand to see the course and train.”