From The Press

Sri Lanka Tourism braved the threat of MERS together with 15 tourism professionals from the private sector to attend one of the leading global travel fairs in Asia Pacific – Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA) – that was staged in Seoul, South Korea. With 52 countries competing entrenched for the converted award, Sri Lanka Tourism did the country proud by winning the top award ‘Best Tourism Publicity Award -2015’, which attracted 66,516 visitors in the 2015 edition.

Sri Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said it’s an award for the 15 Sri Lankans who braved the MERS virus to promote the country above self, which is a rare honour. We have seen the industry doing the same in the last 25 years during the war and must be commended, he voiced.

The Korean national couple dressed in traditional Sri Lankan wedding dresses was an eye-catching attraction at the Sri Lanka Pavilion that also served the single origin Ceylon tea from the tea garden of the world – Nuwara Eliya that won the hearts of a typical South Korean potential traveller.

Athukorala went on to say. “Once a global advertising agency comes to play we can embark on brand image development activity, which is more important for a typical destination marketing task than just the ‘sales push’ we do at trade fairs.

Sri Lanka Tourism has won many accolades in the last four months that included ITB in Berlin, OTM in India and many awards in China. Overall numbers are at a commanding 14.5 percent growth at 714,584 as at May 2015 with overall tourism receipts crossing the US $ 1 billion mark as per the Central Bank data. The overall momentum in the leisure sector was strong at Rs.4.1 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) that was signed as per the release of the Board of Investment (BoI).”