14,270 visitors experience Sri Lankan treasures: Expo 2015


“World Expo is hosted every five years from a different country, the aim being to promote industrial and technological progress worldwide. It attracted 14,270 visitors as at 16 May where the treasures of Sri Lanka have been experienced leading to new partnership between Sri Lanka and the world,” said Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala.

The Sri Lanka pavilion is unique with the top seven institutions of Sri Lanka under one roof that includes EDB, BOI, Tea Board, Sri Lankan, Craft Council, National Gem and Jewellery and Sri Lanka Tourism branded One Island: Thousand Treasures.
“The first month dedicated to tourism led to the Minister of Tourism and Sports visiting the Expo 2015 exposition that resulted in a 1.3 million business secured for Sri Lanka by way of 8,000 visitors charter established with a lifestyle vacation destination company that gave Sri Lanka a head start with the total cost covered and the positive cash flow of Rs. 96 million coming into the country in the first year of operation. We are working on an ROI based investment strategy,” said Athukorala. Each of the institution’s chairmen and ministers will attend Expo 2015 in the next five months.

‘Ceylon Tea’: The world finest ethically produced tea

Ceylon Tea has been prized for its unique flavour, colour, strength and character, which cannot be readily found elsewhere. The humidity, cool temperatures, sunshine and rainfall (two monsoons) in the country’s central and southern highlands are conducive to the manufacture of unique quality teas. Tea plantations are scenic and pristine. Tea is grown, handpicked and processed in an artisanal process, unchanged for over a century.

Sri Lanka is one of the quality orthodox tea producers and suppliers to the EU region by complying with the quality parameters, food safety requirements and MRL stipulated by EU. The Sri Lanka Tea Board along with the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka facilitates all manufacturers of tea in Sri Lanka to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure an end product of high quality made tea to the consumers.

Ceylon Tea is reputed as the ‘cleanest tea in the world’ in respect of pesticide residues due to these stringent controls. When you reach for a cup of Ceylon Tea, you’re not just refreshing yourself; you’re also helping refresh and renew an environmental resource critically important to all life on earth.

The sapphire capital of the world

The legacy continues, as Sri Lanka still holds the crown for producing world class gemstones. Welcome to the ‘Rathna Dveepaya’ or the ‘Gemmed Island’; and be mesmerised by the beauties unearthed every day.

Sri Lanka is blessed with over 70 varieties of coloured stones out of 200 found in the world and is among the five most important gem-bearing nations of the world. Notably, Sri Lanka’s major strength is the ‘Ceylon Sapphire’. The country’s breath-taking natural heritage comprises of varieties of gem minerals, which includes: blue, pink, yellow and golden sapphires, star sapphires, rubies, star rubies, Alexandrites, cat’s eyes, spinels, aquamarines, topaz, zircons, garnets, moonstones, quartz and many more.

The ethical sourcing destination for apparel in the world

The ethos of Sri Lanka Apparel epitomises the synergy between ethical brands and apparel made in Sri Lanka. ‘Children have no business in our business’ is just one of the principles governing this industry ethos. Our ethical sourcing and sustainable development practices aim to empower women and support their communities through poverty alleviation and offering opportunities for education and personal growth. With the development of sustainable eco-friendly solutions to apparel manufacturing, we have endeavoured to make the ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ label synonymous with quality, reliability and social and environmental accountability.
A supermodel shows off Victoria’s Secret’s latest line backed by design excellence; an Olympic swimmer cuts through the water, his evolved Speedo swimwear taking him closer to gold and glory; a six month-old baby grins as she tugs on her, comfy Baby Gap t-shirt with a look that screams ‘Picture, please!’. Sri Lanka clothes the world, redefines industry frontiers, and connects global super brands such as Victoria’s Secret, GAP, Liz Claiborne, Next, Jones New York, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Pink, Triumph, Ann Taylor, Speedo, Abercrombie & Fitch, Land’s End, Marks & Spencer, and Intimmissimi.

The finest Ceylon Cinnamon in the world 

Cinnamon is the most important spice commodity among the spice sector. People in ancient Sri Lanka used cinnamon for many purposes such as, medicine, spice, perfumery material and soft drink. At present the cinnamon is widely used in bakery products, pharmaceutical preparations and cosmetics worldwide. Cinnamon exports in primary form as well as in the value added form such as cut pieces, powder form and crushed form. Cinnamon is considered as a unique product exporting from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is the world largest producer and exporter of Cinnamon to the world. Cinnamon has originated in Sri Lanka and it has unique characteristics, which can be branded under GI protection. Accordingly Ceylon Cinnamon introduced to the international market as a branded product namely ‘Pure Ceylon Cinnamon’ which reflects a combination of several intrinsic characteristics of Cinamomum Zylanicum.

Tourism: 8 wonderful experiences in 8 wonderful days 

Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean offers palm fringed beaches, cool climate, misty mountains, an array of waterfalls, beautiful tea gardens, historic temples and cities, sight of mighty elephants, stealthy leopards and giant blur whales. Also experience the Sri Lankan hospitality, the pristine, heritage, thrills, wild, bliss, scenic, essence and festive wonders.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/423411/14-270-visitors-experience-Sri-Lankan-treasures:-Expo-2015

Sri Lanka should be converted into Ayurvedic medical centre serving the world: Amunugama


 Sri Lanka should be converted into an Ayurvedic medical services centre that renders services to the world.  The required background in this regard is available in Sri Lanka, stated Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Higher Education and Research.

“In the present world an extraordinary attention is drawn to the alternative medical approaches. We should take proper advantages from this opportunity. Our syllabuses should be updated in line with the updating of international syllabuses. Then it would be not an issue to compete with the world,” he stated at the meeting held at the Minister’s Office awarding the appointment letters of the newly-appointed Board of Management of the Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute.

The Minister further stated: “We believe that the number of tourists that exceeds 2.5 million at present would be increased more than the country’s population in the future. Today, in Singapore, too, there are more tourists than the population. Increasing tourists that visit the country is a very favourable factor for the development of the country. The service that can be provided for the tourists through Ayurvedic medicine is enormous. Tourists are very keen on this. In India, this method is developing rapidly.  With that, we too can develop this sector.

“The best and the only remedy for this is to expand the education and the updating of syllabuses. Further, I believe that the students who are studying this subject should be equipped with knowledge on Sanskrit language; especially Ayurvedic teaching texts such as Indian Charaka Samhita are written in Sanskrit language. Similarly, I propose that the Ayurvedic experts with traditional specialist knowledge should be assigned to the teaching activities of the children.

“Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, which was founded by Pandit G.P. Wickramarachchi with his unobstructed courage, need, and dedication, has become a degree awarding institute, today. On the way forward to make Sri Lanka the hub of Ayurvedic medicine, the minor conflicts of opinion and issues between individuals and institutes should be forgotten. It should not be forgotten that our final objective is to do something good on behalf of the country and the world.

“I can remember that in the early days too, there was a discussion among some Ayurvedic medical practitioners as ‘mishra’ and ‘amishra’ (mixed and non-mixed). On that situation, Dr. Lenora, with an unobstructed effort, paved the way to give opportunities to 200 doctors to earn the degree at Kolkata in India. I would like to recall that incident as a great sacrifice at that moment. Whether to use the stethoscope and other instruments or not should not be an issue to worry about. You can come into agreements, made conclusions and decisions in this regard. The final objective should be to convert our country into an international centre of Ayurvedic medicine.”

The gathering included Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Research, Piyasena Ranepura, Secretary to the Ministry, and Prof. Mohan De Silva, Chairman University Grants Commission.
Appointees included Dr. Buddhika Liyanage, Prof. S.G. Ranasinghe, Dr. Tharaka Prasad Hendawitharana, Prof. L.R. Jayasekara, Vinayakantha Wickramaarachchi, C. Maliyadda and R.K. Ranaweera.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/423567/Sri-Lanka-should-be-converted-into-Ayurvedic-medical-centre-serving-the-world:-Amunugama

New tourism zones for future development

The government is looking at identifying new tourism zones apart from calling for tenders for the Kalpitiya and Kuchchaveli areas, a key state official said.

“We have to look at new land for development,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Paddy Withana told the Business Times.

New lands are set to be identified in locations like Mannar as beach areas, North Central for cultural and heritage tours; and the countryside of Nuwara Eliya as hill resort stations, he explained.

The islands in Kalpitiya would be going through the procurement and tender procedure to get new investors to lease out these, he said, adding that the Kuchchaveli project would also be worked on.

In this respect, the government is looking at establishing a plan for future development of the tourism industry, Mr. Withana said.

He noted that they have also given the go-ahead for a number of hotel projects in Galle, Matara, Mirissa and Sigiriya.

These would add to the number of projected rooms of over 6000 by 2017, Mr.

Withana said adding that however, a higher capacity was required to cater to the growing arrivals to the country.

Commenting on the reasons for the limited occupancies despite the high tourist arrivals in the past few years, the chairman noted that it was due to the fact that most middle class travellers would pick a room based on a reasonable rate.

He explained that in this respect, most others would also pick rooms based on the feedback of guests as well to make their selection.

In this regard, the chairman has identified the need for a “good rating company” to rate hotels and rooms so as to put together a structure that would cater to an international standard.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx

Emirates rewards online bookings with Skywards Miles


Emirates, a global connector of people, places and passions, has presented a whopping 270,000 Skywards Miles from the airline’s award-winning frequent flyer programme, to six passengers in Sri Lanka who booked their travel online in February and March this year.

Part of an on-going promotion of the airline’s online booking facility at http://www.emirates.com/lk, these Skywards Miles are redeemable for free air tickets from Emirates, or for upgrades or other benefits.

Emirates presents 65,000, 40,000 and 30,000 Skywards Miles each month to three adult fare paying passengers who book tickets on line for travel originating in Colombo. These Skywards Miles can be redeemed for free return tickets to London, Dubai and Singapore respectively.

“Emirates is constantly looking for opportunities to engage with customers and add value to their travel,” said Chandana de Silva, the airline’s Area Manager Sri Lanka & Maldives. “This promotion offers our passengers a fabulous opportunity to win free travel and broaden their experiences, while exploring our website and discovering the wide range of travel-related services on offer.

The three winners for online bookings in March were Mrs Stefanie Michalka and Messrs Abdulmajeed Mohamed Musthafa and YohanThenabadu. In February the winners selected via a draw were Mr Charles Thilakasiri, Ms FathimaRifaSalihue and Mr DilharrJinadasa.

Emirates’ online booking facility allows passengers to make bookings at any time and from anywhere. Besides the convenience, there are also special on-line fares, and periodic offers and opportunities to earn extra Skywards Miles by booking online. Additionally, a unique feature called ‘Miles Accelerator’ offers extra miles on specific routes on a month-to-month basis.

Source: http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=124747

Biggest Spanish Incentive Group arrives in Sri Lanka


The Spanish holidaymakers expressing their joy after climbing the historic Sigiriya rock fortress

The biggest Spanish Incentive Group to Sri Lanka arrived in the country on May 11, comprising 115 of the best sales executives of a leading corporate institution in Spain.

They toured Sri Lanka for six days, visiting key attractions in Kandy, Passikudah, Sigiriya and in The Cultural Triangle. Highlights of the tour were coral planting at Passekudah, cycle tour through Polonnaruwa and a Jeep Safari at the Minneriya National Park. The tourists said it was a truly unique experience and would take the intiative to promote Sri Lanka as a destination.

All ground handling arrangements for the group was undertaken by Connaissance De Ceylan, a pioneer in the inbound tourism industry of Sri Lanka with over 30 years’ experience, offering guests holiday experiences ‘that will always be remembered and cherished.’

Source: http://www.island.lk/backup/indexfdeb.html?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=124679

SLTPB in joint promotion talks with Tourism Maldives

Given that the Maldives is already in the label as a fashion destination, Sri Lanka Tourism is in discussion with Maldives Tourism to share itineraries that will help Sri Lanka boost its imagery in the markets such as Italy. These discussions took place on the sidelines of Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) in Dubai with the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Chairman Mohamed Khaleel.

“This will include itinerary sharing between Sri Lanka and the Maldives and we will begin with the partnership signed in Italy where the US $ 1.3 million charter can be used to bring in this new imagery,” said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Rohantha Athukorala.

For instance, the 21,000 visitors attracted last year must be increased to 30,000 plus and the multimedia marketing campaign that will be launched around the TTG Fair to be staged in September this year will be used to bring in this new positioning to tourism Sri Lanka.

“The good news is that the delivery of this promise is already agreed with the product going through up gradation that includes Italian cuisine and Italian animators. We want to use this as a case study to develop other key markets. Innovation is the hinge for success in today’s competitive world,” he said.

Another area discussed was the blue print of SAARC of South Asia having a common visa similar to the Schengen and the promotional spin off such a policy can bring to tourism promotions. At ATM there was an announcement for GCC countries that a common visa will be launched to the Arab countries later the year. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, will open the door not only to the Arab world but also to 35 foreign nationals. GCC is estimated to attract over 33 million outbound trips and worth around US $ 100 billion.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx

Citrus Leisure subsidiary to manage George Steuart’s new city hotel

George Steuart & Co. Ltd’s upcoming landmark city hotel will be managed by Citrus Silver Limited, a newly formed, fullyowned subsidiary of Citrus Leisure PLC, which in turn is a subsidiary of George Steuart Group.

Citrus Silver will enter into a lease agreement with the George Steuart Group in June to operate the 50-room boutique hotel for 10 years.

Named ‘The Stewart by Citrus’ with a Scottish theme, the property is the 175-year old ‘Steuart House’, the colonial building which had till then functioned as the headquarters of Sri Lanka’s oldest mercantile establishment.

The property consists of two interconnected buildings, one which faces the Central Bank, and the other the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct.

The transformation took just over one year at a cost of Rs.350 million, and the chief architect was Nishantha Munasinghe, who designed Citrus Hikkaduwa.

Following the decision in 2013, George Steuart Group Chairman Dilith Jayaweera had said the move made business sense, since the then government had identified the Colombo Fort area as a designated zone for entertainment and leisure activities.

Meanwhile, the Citrus group is being scrutinized by the regulator for failing to start the construction of Kalpitiya Beach Resort, following an initial public offering in 2011.

It is now exploring alternative locations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

George Stewart & Co. and related parties own over 47.1 percent of the shares in Citrus Leisure.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx


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