Sri Lanka tourism received a tremendous boost and strong acclamation from a group of leading travel agents and tour operators at a destination promotional event hosted by the Sri Lanka Embassy at its chancery premises in Washington DC on 14th November 2019.
This highly successful event is the culmination of a joint initiative taken by the Embassy in collaboration with the Emirates Airline towards harnessing and exploiting Sri Lanka’s tourism potential as an attractive travel destination for travelers from the United States. About 30 representatives from the travel trade in the greater Washington DC area were in attendance.
Delivering opening remarks, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Rodney Perera welcomed the distinguished gathering and appreciated their commitment and interest to join hands with the Sri Lankan Embassy in promoting Sri Lanka, a destination well known for its unique characteristics, rich diversity and popular attractions. Elaborating Sri Lanka’s strengths and its potential as an year-long destination, Ambassador Perera briefed the audience on the strength of Sri Lanka’s democracy having introduced universal adult franchise for both men and women in 1931, combined with a robust and vibrant economy and its peoples’ resilience, to become one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers from all over the world. While welcoming those in the audience to enjoy Sri Lanka’s warmth and hospitality, Ambassador sought their support to serve as “goodwill ambassadors“ for Sri Lanka.
Minister/Commercial of the Embassy, Sumedha Ponnamperuma made a presentation on “Sri Lanka’s history and UNESCO sites“ in which emphasis was made on Sri Lanka’s Buddhist heritage, its historic and architectural marvels, cultural triangle etc which he said, stand testimony to its great civilization with a well documented history spanning over 2600 years, being a country comprised of multi ethnic, multi religious and multi linguistic communities striving for peace, harmony and prosperity. Minister Ponnamperuma also thanked the representatives who joined the occasion for their enthusiasm and support towards a worthy endeavour.
In his power point presentation, the Embassy’s Second Secretary, Niranga Palipana glanced through slides on “Sri Lanka’s tourism products and accommodation facilities“ and highlighted Sri Lanka’s tourism hot spots, fauna and flora, which he ranked as second to none. While branding Sri Lanka as an ideal destination for travelers, Second Secretary Palipana noted the world renowned Lonely Planet Magazine’s designation of Sri Lanka as the top travel destination in the world for 2019. In closing, he counted on the support and cooperation of the like minded for the promotion of Sri Lanka in the US.
Emirates Airline Representative and its Senior Sales Executive, Zeenat Koreishi, in her brief remarks, thanked the Sri Lankan Ambassador and staff for the invitation to her and the representatives of air lines, members of the travel trade and tour operators for the enjoyable evening and assured her fullest support to promote Sri Lanka tourism. Having visited Sri Lanka, on her 90th foreign destination, Zeenat spoke very high of Sri Lanka and its people while proudly claiming that Sri Lankans are the “most friendly and warmest people“ she has ever met during her career in the industry.
The evening came to a close with the presentation of Sri Lankan souvenirs as gifts for the winners of a raffle draw and a video presentation on Sri Lanka’s tourism, culture, heritage, food and cuisine, leisure, sports, adventure, wild life, gems, fashion and life styles, tea plantations, scenic spots, attractions, beaches, people and festivals etc which were well appreciated by those present.
Launching the newly created Instagram account of the Sri Lanka Embassy in the USA was also a key feature of the event.
The guests were treated to a Sri Lankan buffet with a variety of authentic cuisine and culinary dishes specially prepared for the occasion. A gift pack of Sri Lankan tea and tokens was presented to all.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
15 November 2019