Tourism and Culture Ministry and Chinese Athletic Association (CAA), a governing body of athletics sports in China, are joining hands to organise the One Belt One Road Marathon Malaysia (OBOR).
Salcon Bhd signed a joint venture agreement with China Wisdom Sports Sdn Bhd for Belt and Road Marathon series in Malaysia along with China-Malaysia Sports Tourism Development at Pusat Pelancongan Malaysia (Matic).
“We are very happy to be part of this as it is the first One Belt One Road Marathon outside China,’’ said Tourism and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) deputy secretary-general (Tourism) Nor Yahati Awang.
About 20,000 participants from all around the world are expected to take part in this event.
“ Since marathons are currently popular, we are confident many Republic of China citizens will be attracted to this,” said Wisdom Sports Group (China) chief executive officer Zhang Han.
CAA launched the OBOR series of marathons as a measure to connect China with most of Europe and Asia including East Africa, particularly the sports industry.
Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah said the ministry has agreed to work with the CAA through a sports tourism approach to encourage the arrival of tourists from China
The event is expected to boost the tourism industry as well as the economy of both countries because of the location.
“ We can expect more tourists from China to be here in Malaysia during that week as it falls on Oct 1, which is Chinese Golden week,” added Nor Yahati
She also said there would be more job opportunities in Malaysia as many entrepreneurs and project managers would be joining in.
Various traditional and semi-classical shows will be conducted by both Malaysians and artists from Republic of China during the marathon.
“We are also encouraging participants’ family members to come and join us not just to run but to enjoy the shows which will be held at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.” said Circle Interactive Tourism chief executive officer Datuk Ngiam Foon.
One Belt One Road Marathon Malaysia (OBOR) is the booster for upcoming Sea Games and Asean Para Games.