Sri Lanka’s state-run carrier SriLankan Airlines recently sponsored the Asia Pacific tour event as part of efforts to boost the profile of the island’s golf courses and promote up market sports tourism, officials said.
“One way to get to the end user of our airline is through sports,” Srilankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said.
“We do it with rugby, we do it with pro-surfing, and through golfing.”
In February, a three day SriLankan Airlines Asia Pacific Senior Gold Masters Championship Trophy teed off at the 18-hole course at Victoria Golf and Country Resort in Kandy in the island’s central hills.
Golfers from the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Africa, the Philippines, Switzerland, Malaysia and the UK took part in the championship tournament.
“Golfers look for different experiences, and Sri Lanka has some special attractions,” says Mike Varney, chief executive of International Golf Solutions, which is organizing the event.
“For example Royal Colombo Golf club is the world’s third oldest course outside the UK.”
SriLankan Airlines forked out 100,000 US dollars as title sponsor.
Mike Harwood, former US PGA Tour card holder and Thailand’s Jamnian Chitrasong, who won a recent Asia Pacific championship tour were also in attendance, the airline said.