Bangkok, 4 December, 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is to back a major campaign to hold five competitive marathons annually making Thailand the first ASEAN country to host so many of this popular sport nationwide.

Initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Thailand Road Racing Standard campaign is also supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, Athletic Association of Thailand, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said that under the policy to promote Sports Tourism, the five events are Bang Saen Half 21 Marathon (Chon Buri), Buri Ram Marathon, Chombueng Marathon (Ratchaburi), Phukethon and Bangkok Midnight Marathon. “Our goal is to be the number one in ASEAN as a marathon organiser within three years. We want to have sustainable running events in the country,” he said at a press conference at the Sports Authority of Thailand.

The Minister said that promoting such world-class marathon events will boost the economy nationwide, promote Thailand as a sports destination, and enhance awareness of good health among the people. “It will also generate income and cash flow,” said the Minister.

Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications said that events which adopt international standards and unique styles find it easier to attract runners, investors, sponsors and running-related industries. Their location in different provinces puts them in line with the TAT’s strategy to promote the 55 emerging destinations, as well as creating jobs and income nationwide.

“Thus, TAT will give full support to the campaign and make it known worldwide,” Mr. Tanes said.

Mr. Dahlan Al-Hamad, President of the Asian Athletics Association, said, “We are aware of Thailand’s commitment and efforts and ready to give full support. This will include personnel, know-how and management. Such events always generate a very positive economic impact.”

Each marathon has a different level of international recognition.

“The Buri Ram Marathon is the first running event in the country awarded a Bronze Label from the World Athletics Road Race while the Bang Saen Half 21 Marathon has a Silver Label. Their success will encourage other organisers to upgrade their own events, so that they can be awarded with the labels of Bronze, Silver and Gold, respectively.” Mr. Al-Hamad said.

According to an analysis conducted by TCEB, Thailand hosts 1,200 sporting events annually with marathons being the most popular; each generating revenue of at least 200 million Baht.