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Subic Bay: Racing back on track as sports tourism destination

Subic Bay pulled off hosting three major triathlon events over the weekend amidst most challenging  weather conditions with rainbow colors, which only a well-calibrated and spirited host city can perform.

Hosting the IRONKIDS, Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines and the IRONMAN 70.3 on June 10 and 11 respectively, the weekend races attracted over 1,000 athletes from 42 countries which included Japan, Australia, Belarus, USA, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Singapore, Uzbekistan and Sweden, among others.

(L-R) Century Pacific COO, Greg Banzon with SBMA Chairman and Administrator Jonathan Tan, and Century Pacific Head of Marketing Carlo Endaya. 

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman, Jonathan Tan,  in his first encounter with the iconic IRONMAN event since his appointment as head of this tourist and economic zone, expressed much awe at the organization, magnitude and prestige of the IRONMAN  event.

“One of our claims to fame is being the ‘Triathlon Capital of the Philippines’ and we take pride in being a witness to the accomplishments of the Filipino IRONMAN. We are inspired by the athletes and organizers with this passion to bring out the best in themselves and the events, and we continue to promote Subic Bay as a nirvana for sports tourism because of that,” said Tan.

Princess Galura with the rest of IRONMAN team.

Speaking on behalf of Chairman Tan at the IRONMAN media conference,  SBMA director, Atty Chito Lahom, pledged continuing support of SBMA for the IRONMAN triathlon which first raced off in Subic in 2018.

Staff and volunteers of SBMA, Olongapo City and Province of Zambales, by the hundreds, were all in one in providing top-notch cooperation and services, on and off track, to ensure the hosting of the 2023 editions of IRONMAN races was a success.

And, indeed, it was. Princess Galura the Regional Director of the IRONMAN Group expressed great delight at SBMA’s performance as a host city. “Time and time. again, Subic has proven itself to be an excellent event host,” said Galura.

Hotel Reps waiting for the hotel transfers. 

Subic Bay, has throughout the years, played host to local in international sporting events such as Beach Pro Tour Future Volleyball, President’s Cup REGATTA and various sailing and international regattas, marathons, and recent Southeast Asian Games events.

Subic Bay was named the Sports Tourism Destination of the Year in the 2017 Philippine Sports Tourism Awards.

Sporting events, after the pandemic in 2022, have spurred Subic Bay back on track as one of the top tourist destinations in the country and the IRONMAN weekend in June has boosted local economy tremendously.

Sharing his joy, SBMA director in charge of tourism, Raul Marcelo expressed his gratitude on behalf of the hospitality stakeholders – “Thank you very much for filling up all the hotel rooms,” he grinned.