Ac­tion on Wheels

The Pis­ton Mo­tor Rac­ing Chal­lenge may be one way the Mal­dives has found to once again boost its tourism sec­tor and gar­ner the much-needed pub­lic­ity.

Southasia - - Tourism Sport - By Fara Abrar Fara Abrar is pur­su­ing stud­ies in Mar­ket­ing at the IBA and is an ac­tive blog­ger.

Over the years, the Mal­dives has at­tracted many tourists from across the world for its nat­u­ral beauty, which has painstak­ingly been main­tained by the government as a re­li­able source of in­come. The coun­try of­fers in­cred­i­ble hol­i­days and op­por­tu­ni­ties to get away to its tran­quil wa­ters and mes­mer­iz­ing beaches. But the ar­chi­pel­ago is not just a spot for those look­ing for some time off. It of­fers plenty for those seek­ing a bit of ad­ven­ture. Ini­tially, the Mal­di­vian re­sorts of­fered sports like snor­kel­ing, surf­ing, para-sail­ing and wind surf­ing. A di­verse set of con­stant tourists sig­ni­fies grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion, mak­ing it im­per­a­tive for hol­i­day re­sorts to keep their of­fer­ings dy­namic.

In an ef­fort to fur­ther this, the Mal­dives re­cently held the Pis­ton Mo­tor Rac­ing Chal­lenge 2013 in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Mal­dives Na­tional De­fense Force ( MNDF) and the Mal­dives Mo­tor Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (MMRA). How­ever, the event did not solely fo­cus on rac­ing but rather strived to at­tract chil­dren and fam­i­lies by of­fer­ing live mu­sic, elec­tronic dance groups, laser shows, fire­works, drag rac­ing and so on. The core pur­pose of this event was to in­crease sports tourism and also cre­ate aware- ness about road safety.

For the Mal­dives, mo­tor rac­ing has be­come an ad­di­tional source of rev­enue that will at­tract rac­ers from across the world to com­pete in the sport and will si­mul­ta­ne­ously con­trib­ute to the over­all eco­nomic pros­per­ity of the coun­try. It is ex­pected that most rac­ers would not only par­tic­i­pate but would also be tempted to stay slightly longer to en­joy the Mal­dives’ nat­u­ral beauty and other thrilling water sports. Apart from boost­ing tourism and sta­bi­liz­ing the econ­omy in a po­lit­i­cal un­sta­ble coun­try, adding a new sport­ing ac­tiv­ity will also in­crease em­ploy­ment and the de­mand for skilled la­bor.

In­ter­na­tional me­dia ea­gerly cov­ered the event with fans upload­ing up­dates and pic­tures on so­cial me­dia sites. The Pis­ton Mo­tor Rac­ing com­pe­ti­tion added much needed pub­lic­ity to the Mal­dives that re­cently finds it­self em­broiled in neg­a­tive me­dia re­ports. Whether the cov­er­age de­tailed the or­ga­nized struc­ture of the grand and lav­ish open­ing cer­e­mony, the Mal­dives has cer­tainly gen­er­ated in­ter­est in the sport, for years to come.

In a sport like mo­tor rac­ing, secu-

rity is the top pri­or­ity for both the rac­ers and the spec­ta­tors. A slightly greater bend may lead the biker to lose con­trol of the ve­hi­cle lead­ing to fa­tal in­juries with high pos­si­bil­i­ties of death. Fur­ther­more, the chances of the bike slid­ing to­wards the spec­ta­tors is equally high lead­ing to enor­mous risk and un­cer­tainty if no proper ar­range­ment is made to pro­tect their lives. Hence, the Mal­dives Na­tional De­fense Force took re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide proper safety, se­cu­rity and pro­tec­tion to ev­ery­one and en­sure that the road rules and guide­lines were be­ing fol­lowed by the rac­ers.

The pro­mo­tion of sport tourism in the form of the Pis­ton Mo­tor Rac­ing Chal­lenge will un­doubt­edly help the coun­try grow eco­nom­i­cally thus in­creas­ing em­ploy­ment, wages and the stan­dard of liv­ing.

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