Phuket will host the Spartan Apac Championship 2022 in November, a gruelling series of races that is expected to attract 5,000 runners and generate 1 billion baht for the local economy.
The Phuket Provincial Office, which is hosting the Nov 26-27 event, anticipates there will also be 20,000 additional attendees including fans from 30 countries.
Pichet Phanapong, the island province's deputy governor, said the event will help promote Thailand's soft power while boosting Phuket's health and wellness policy as well as the regional economy.
"The race is a collaborative effort between the province and many agencies including the Thailand Tourism Authority of Thailand [TAT] and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Authority of Thailand [SAT]," he said.
"This strong collaboration has also prepared the island for the selection process of the 2028 World Specialized Expo and other international exhibitions and competitions."
Pattanachai Singhawara, director of the Southern Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), echoed similar sentiments.
"One of the jobs of the Southern TCEB is to help the nation bid for international events such as the Spartan Race and the World Specialized Expo," he said.
"Phuket is very suitable for the race due to the province's sports city policy," he added. "It is expected to serve as a quick win for the island after the pandemic."
The provincial office and other agencies have prepared 500 rai [800,000 square metres] of land at Blue Tree Phuket to accommodate up to 20,000 people, with the aim of presenting the island as a safe and hygienic attraction, according to Anupab Vejwanichsanong, vice president of the Phuket Administrative Organisation.
He said the organiser has made 5,000 rooms available at hotels close to the race track, including the Midas Grand, as well as a free shuttle bus for contestants.
Licensed Markets' managing director of the Spartan Race, Mike Goodwin, said Spartans from 40 nations will take part in races.
"Phuket was chosen due to its challenging geography and top-notch accessibility," he said.