CeyEndurance triathlons to boost Sri Lanka’s sports tourism
ECONOMYNEXT– CeyEndurance, a new Sri Lankan triathlon series, is expecting to fill the gap left by the popular global IRONMAN series and attract international athletes, the organizers said.
“…international events such as these portray the country in many positive perceptions, aiding in renewing and opening up the country to new sports and tourism segments,” Divinsan Pvt Ltd Managing Director Dinesh Fernando said at the launch of CeyEndurance at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.
“In 2018 and 2019 IRONMAN attracted over 500 international participants each from 50 countries to Sri Lanka, some visiting the island for the first time,” he said.
According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, another 2,300 spectators, mostly family and friends of the foreign athletes, had visited
Sri Lanka during the events in 2018 and 2019, and the events in total contributed around 3 million US dollars to tourism revenue annually.
“Sri Lanka is now known for triathlons, which we have to capitalize on and promote CeyEndurance to international markets,” Fernando said.
CeyEndurance is the first home-grown triathlon series targeting international markets.
“…IRONMAN has left a huge vacuum in Sri Lanka for athletes. Sometimes international brands don’t fit into our scenario so we designed an event accordingly to Sri Lanka and invited international participants,” he said.
The CeyEndurance triathlon series for 2020 will comprise of three local and two international events happening throughout the year.
The first local triathlon event is to be held at NCC on January 10 and the international event is to be held on March 22 at Galle face, Colombo. Rest of the events will take place in May, August and November across Sri Lanka.
CeyEndurance will venture away from the past practice of holding such events only in Colombo.
“Sri Lanka has diverse geographies, so we must take this opportunity to promote the country,” Fernando said.
Divisan said 250 athletes registered for the first local event and are hoping to have about 500 participants for the international event to be held in March. (Colombo/Jan07/2020)