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.
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.