Jakarta. The World Triathlon Corporation's Ironman 70.3 Championship in Bintan, Riau, is the third best race of its kind in the world, according to a Ministry of Tourism official.
Bintan, which will host the next long distance triathlon race in August, has been home to the event annually since 2015.
According to an Ironman survey in February, racers ranked the annual Bintan event the third most satisfying of its kind, with 95 percent of race participants giving glowing reviews.
"The Ironman race in Bintan is the world's third best of its kind because the area offers beautiful landscapes, like forests, lagoons and beaches. Runners will feel challenged here," said I Gde Pitana, the Tourism Ministry's deputy for international marketing development.
Next month's event will serve as a qualifier for racers aiming to enter to the 2018 Ironman World Championship, which will be hosted in South Africa.
"From the thousands of participants who have already registered, the largest numbers come from Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and Japan. They intentionally run to qualify for the 2018 world championship in South Africa," Bintan Tourism Agency head Luki Zaiman Prawira said.
"Foreign tourists who came to Bintan because of the event in 2016 numbered two million, or 17 percent of Indonesia's foreign visitors at the time," he added.