Sports tourism is believed will help Tourism Pahang attract more visitors to the state to achieve its target of bringing in 10 million tourists to the state this year. Tourism Pahang general manager Datuk Ishak Mokhtar said organising sporting activities at tourist destinations was an ideal way to promote them to both local and foreign tourists.
Ishak cited the recent 2015 Kuantan Half Marathon as an example, in which the trail covered Tanjung Lumpur, a popular destination for seafood and grilled fish. “Among other sporting activities which will take place during this year are Kuantan Century Ride, which is a 160-kilometre cycle race on June 7, that will also introduce the uniqueness of Pekan as Pahang’s royal town.
“The Gunung Tahan Challenge will take place from August 29 to 30, while the Merapoh Forest Run on Oct 31, aims at promoting Merapoh as the second entrance to Taman Negara, after Kuala Tahan,” he told reporters after the run here, Sunday. Ishak was also confident that organising sporting activities could attract tourists, citing the attendance of 900,000 visitors to Pahang when they hosted the Sukma Games in 2012.
“Their arrival will also help boost the local economy and related industries such as hospitality, because they will definitely choose to stay the night here, as sporting events will begin in the early morning,” he said.
Commenting on the Kuantan Half Marathon 2015, Ishak said a total of 2,500 participants took part in three categories, that is 21km, 10km, and the 5km-‘Fun Race’ which was introduced this year. A total of 121 international participants also took part, with 35 people from Singapore, followed by the British (23 people), Indonesians (12), Taiwanese (9) and Australians (6).