SPORT TOURISM BOOM CONTINUES IN THAILAND
The 2016 Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) will kick off on Sunday 20 November. This time seeing the race’s 23rd edition comprises 1.8K swim, 50K bike and 12K run.
Pre-race press conference was held on Saturday 19 November and graced by Ms. Siwaporn Chuasawat, Vice Governor of Phuket; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn TAT Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Mr. Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket, the race organizer; Mr. Suvadhana Sibunruang, Director of Brand and Advertising Department, Thai Airways PLC., and Mr. Artiwara Kongmalai or “Khun Toon Bodyslam” Thailand’s number one rock star who is participating in the race this year. The Conference was also paneled by elite pro athletes.
“This year, we will see around 1,100 athletes, representing more than 40 nationalities, participating in the individual and team relay categories as well as the 6K Fun Run at our race this Sunday. This is more than the previously anticipated number of 1,000 athletes. What I find inspiring is that we have seen more number of Thai athletes participating in our race each year, highlighting its growing popularity,” said Mr. Ravi Chandran.
“We have recognized the high potential in Thailand’s sport tourism segment for years now. From traditional beach holidays, new generation travel makers are keen to go on sport-related vacations where they can participate in marathon, bike, duathlon and triathlon events at various tourist locations nationwide. As Asia’s longest standing triathlon race which is organised in such beautiful setting, Laguna Phuket integrated resort is certainly one of the most desirable sport tourism destinations.”
RACE FOR GOOD CAUSES
Thailand’s number one rock star Mr. Artiwara Kongmalai, best known for his stage name “Toon Bodyslam” said “From my first marathon to triathlon races, I am impressed by this beautiful resort and its professional event organising standards. Laguna Phuket and I share similar beliefs in promoting healthy lifestyle and supporting charitable causes.”
As in previous years, athletes and participants in Laguna Phuket Triathlon are encouraged to donate to Laguna Phuket Foundation for its ongoing local charitable causes such as “Fully Booked!” Mobile Learning Centre, Community Learning Centre, Laguna Phuket Kindergarten, social enterprise restaurant “Seedlings Phuket” and many more.
This year’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon is headed by defending champions: Michael Raelert (DEU), title holder of 2015 Laguna Phuket Triathlon and Simone Braendli (SUI) from the women’s field; Massimo Cigana (ITA) and Alberto Casadei (ITA), who jointly made history at 2014 Laguna Phuket Triathlon when they crossed the finish line as one and gave LPT its first dual champions. Cigana is also LPT’s first four-time winner (2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014) and Radka Vodickova (CZE) who won LPT (women’s field) in 2009, 2011 and 2012, all vying for USD 20,000 prize money.
OFFICIAL MASCOT UNVEILED
Members of the press and the conference’s audiences were in for a treat when Laguna Phuket unveiled its official Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s mascot “Laguna.” Adorning baby elephant costume, Laguna makes his appearance at this year’s race and will be ready for photo opportunity at all time.
During the Triathlon weekend, all the pros will be staying within the Laguna Phuket resort complex to train and participate in various sport and social functions.