In the drive to position the country as an ideal venue to host international events, the Philippines, through the Department of Tourism (DOT), will be hosting the 2016 Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship in Cebu on 7 August 2016. This is the first time that the Asia-Pacific leg will be held in Asia, with previous editions being held in Australia.
“The DOT is proud to welcome the athletes and organizersof the 2016 Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship. Our country’s hosting of this competition in Cebu completes the picture of the Philippines not only as a travel destination, but also as a competitive sports destination in Asia where major global events can be held,”Philippine Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr., said. The Ironman 70.3 race is a famed sporting event exemplifying athletes whogo through exceptionally long distances. The “70.3” stands for the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, which consists of a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56 mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1 mile (21.1 km) run. It is organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), the largest organizer of triathlons in the world, which runs the Ironman series and owns the Ironman trademark.
“It’s an exciting time for the sport of triathlon in Asia-Pacific. With our ongoing expansion in Asia that includes 14 Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events combined with tens of thousands of athletes living and competing in the region–it’s the right time to host a championship race here,” said Mr. Geoff Meyer, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman Asia-Pacific. “Cebu also hosted the successful Ironman 70.3 Philippines triathlon for the past five years—and it will provide our athletes a beautiful and challenging championship course.”
In the Philippines, Ironman race events have been organized since 2009 in destinations such as Cebu, Camarines Sur, and Subic Bay. The country has attracted a growing number of athletes over the years, with the recently concluded Cobra Ironman 70.3 in Cebu last 2 August 2015 havingmore than 2,500 participants—more than three times the 583 participants in 2009.In 2013, the Cobra Ironman 70.3 was ranked second in the world, garnering a 97.6 percent rating in terms of participant satisfaction. Sunrise Events, Inc. has been organizing these races in the Philippines since 2009.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected as the host for the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship,” said the President and Chairman of Sunrise Events, Mr. Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr. “We intend to stage our best event yet which will coincide with our five-year anniversary in Cebu and our eighth year in partnership with Ironman. We look forward to welcoming everyone with our trademark Filipino hospitality,” added Mr. Uytengsu.
Cebu is deemed as the ideal destination to host the 2016 Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship. It has consistently been dubbed by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine as one of the best islands in the world. Theisland also has infrastructural capabilities for international access, necessary for hosting events of this scale. A melting pot of cultural heritage, rich history, diverse cuisine, intricate art, and friendly people, the island represents some of the best things about the Philippines.
The province of Cebu alone reached the 3-million mark for its tourists, with 3,018,322 travelers recorded to have visited the province in 2014. This figure is a 16.17 percent growth from the 2,598,250 travelers in 2013. The Philippine hosting of the Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship is expected to increase travelers to the country, generating more income and employment for the country and the Filipino people.
“Over the years, the Ironman has become a testament of the human spirit and will. It has challenged and tested many athletes, pushing participants to their limit. The race has attracted different people around the world, including Filipinos, who are known for their perseverance, determination, and endurance,” Tourism Secretary Jimenez said.
Global demand for Ironman-branded events has increased in recent years, with over 150 events taking place all over the world. With nearly 250,000 athletes participating in the series yearly, it is witnessed by 2,000,000 live spectators for all races, a digital audience of more than 40,000 people and 6M households through television broadcasts of the various Ironman events.