Archive for December, 2017

UTE helps boost golf tourism

United Tractor and Equipment (UTE), the local distributor for the world-renowned Caterpillar brand of equipment, hosted the annual Caterpillar Far East Dealers Association Conference (CFEDA) for 50 overseas delegates from Caterpillar and their South-East Asian dealers, including India and China, at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo recently.

As part of the itinerary, UTE arranged a novel CFEDA Annual Golf Championship played at the prestigious Royal Colombo Golf Club.

Former UTE Chairman Priath Fernando as the current President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union (SLGU) organised the tournament.

The SLGU is the sole official controlling body for the sport of golf in Sri Lanka recognised by the Ministry of Sports, the National Olympic Council Sri Lanka and the R&A, which governs golf worldwide.

Thanking UTE and Caterpillar for the tremendous support given towards developing golf in Sri Lanka, he said: “I am confident that UTE and the whole Caterpillar family will continue to go from strength to strength and continue their support towards the development of golf in Sri Lanka. The SLGU has embarked on a new journey under my leadership to make Sri Lanka golf world-class. Our new journey is to not only produce champion golfers but to also promote visits to Sri Lanka by more high net worth tourists through golf tours and international golfing events – in keeping with the mission of the Prime Minister.”

Commenting on UTE’s association with golf, UTE Chairman Prasan Fernando said: “We are happy that the event attracted a lot of players who teed off.  CFEDA participants are mainly from countries with booming economies and we hope hosting this tournament will promote Sri Lanka as a golfing destination which attracts golf enthusiasts and serve as an important asset to boost tourism.”

The CFEDA 2017 Golf Championship tournament generated great interest and saw some close contests along with quality golf.

A highlight of the tournament was the announcement of SLGU’s new strategic partnership with the prestigious Crocodile brand of menswear as its clothing partner.

Addressing the gathering, the SLGU President said: “As President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union, I sincerely thank Crocodile Sri Lanka for joining and supporting the SLGU on its new journey. I am pleased our new strategic partner was able to offer, on a complimentary basis, the Caterpillar family of golfers special Crocodile branded golf shirts with the CFEDA Sri Lanka logo specially printed on it.”

Crocodile Lanka Ltd. has been the sole licensee for Crocodile apparel and lifestyle accessories in Sri Lanka since 2001.

Established in 1947, Crocodile is an international fashion and lifestyle brand that delivers timeless, quality and functional wear with men’s garments having been the initial product of the brand. Crocodile Sri Lanka’s product portfolio includes t-shirts, shirts, ties, innerwear, footwear, leather goods, travel-ware, timepieces, eyewear and other accessories for men.

The company’s vision is to continue to be Sri Lanka’s leading international fashion lifestyle brand. Crocodile will carve new milestones in 2018 with its strategic partnership with SLG and the opening of a bigger and high-end new flagship store at No. 345, Duplication Road, Colombo 3.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian Production of the Sound of Music to be staged in Sri Lanka

The hills will come alive this February as Cinnamon Life, in partnership with Broadway Asia International, introduces Broadway theatre to Sri Lanka with the Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian Production of the Sound of Music.

Rekindling fond memories of raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens, this spectacular event promises to be a memorable experience for the entire family. The show will be staged at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre from 14-18 February 2018.

As the country’s hospitality trendsetter, Cinnamon Life is the proud organiser of the first Broadway theatre production to be staged in Sri Lanka. An event of this calibre is in line with Cinnamon Life’s mission to transform Colombo into a vibrant entertainment hub, and is a significant milestone in the country’s entertainment industry.

A world-class musical that has captured the hearts of audiences the world over, The Sound of Music is one of the most critically-acclaimed productions in the history of musical theatre. Having won six Tony Awards and five Academy Awards, this production has been staged at major venues around the world. As Colombo joins this list of venues, 12 children from our own country will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform alongside a critically-acclaimed cast.

The Sound of Music will be the inaugural production in an ongoing partnership between Cinnamon Life and Broadway Asia International, one of the largest production, management, distribution, licensing and touring companies of live entertainment in the Asia Pacific region.

Over the past two decades the company has staged dazzling theatrical performances in 400 cities in more than 40 countries, winning more than 50 global theatrical awards through its many collaborations.

Cinnamon Life presents Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian, the Really Useful Group production of The Sound of Music powered by Nations Trust Bank American Express, Destination Partner Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Airline Partner SriLankan Airlines, Skills Development Partner British Council, Banking Partner Nations Trust Bank Private Banking, Inbound Travel Partner Walkers Tours, Print Media and Web partners Daily FT, Sunday Times, Daily Mirror, Life Online, Daily, Hi Magazine and HI TV, Creative Partner JWT, Print Partner Anim8 and Outdoor Media Partner Emerging Media.

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Sri Lanka Tourism taps high-end luxury French travellers

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau ventured into the world’s most prestigious global travel event International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) Travel and Tourism Fair that took place from 4-7 December in Cannes, France. The main intention of participating at this luxury travel fair was to showcase upmarket tourism products of the destination to high potential travel trade buyers from around the world.

ILTM introduces global travel buyers to an unrivalled collection of international brands with a diversified portfolio of 60,000 pre-scheduled business meetings and product segments exceeding 30 different travel sectors with over 100 countries participating showcasing their international luxury product brands. After a lapse of more than a decade, Sri Lanka was presented at this prestigious travel show this year with a grand entry featuring up-market luxury hotel properties, boutiques and luxury service categories.

Sri Lanka pavilion at the ILTM was ceremoniously declared open lighting the traditional oil lamp with the participation of the all travel trade representatives and Sarangi Thilakasena, Assistant Director Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, along with the ILTM show organiser for Europe and Asia, David Todd. The show organisers welcomed Sri Lanka to the event with a high note, commending the decision taken to participate at the show. On behalf of Sri Lankan participants, Chandra Wickramasinghe of Theme Resorts and Spas highlighted that it is a wise and timely move of Sri Lanka Tourism to take part at the ILTM travel Fair which will contribute immensely to position Sri Lanka as a luxury travel destination among the highly recognised tourism portfolio of ILTM.

Sri Lanka Pavilion at ILTM Travel Fair was designed to reflect the prestige and the attractiveness of the destination with added touch of luxury across all elements of the stall. Much prominence had been given to highlight the participants providing dedicated clusters for each and every company with individual back-lit panel featuring their properties. Each participant was provided with wifi facility and a tablet PC along with branded promotional material for their use at the business meetings. A wide screen video wall had been setup at the centre of the stand with promotional videos running continuously to give a live feeling of Sri Lanka. Ceylon tea boutique served freshly brewed Ceylon Tea throughout the ILTM Fair for all visitors, which was on high demand during the fair. Accordingly, this year Sri Lanka Tourism stall was specifically designed to showcase promotional themes as well as to highlight the rich luxury travel experience Sri Lanka has to offer to the avid French travellers.

During the ILTM travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism was able to meet up with luxury travel media including leading travel magazines, journalists, online travel sites, luxury travel guide publishers and even high-tech mobile luxury travel application developers, bloggers, etc. The successful discussions had with these publications and online publicity options has opened up a new publicity frontier in the luxury travel segment for Sri Lanka Tourism in the future to ensure high level of exposure in the target travel segments.

With the intention of further expanding on the luxury product marketing segment in southern France, Sri Lanka Tourism representative met with the Government Tourism Promotion Authority of Republic of Monaco to obtain their support to conduct an exclusive promotional event in Monte Carlo in the upcoming year. Further, two productive meetings were conducted with the most famous fashion magazines in France ‘Figaro’ and ‘Madame Figaro’ to carry out an exclusive Sri Lanka publicity in the upcoming months targeted to their luxury fashion and lifestyle clientele.

Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to amplify the promotions targeted for luxury travel segment by spring-boarding on the success of the ILTM travel fair which has created immense business potential for Sri Lankan up market product segments. The long-term vision of this strategic direction is to ensure high revenue generation segments are tapped by the country’s tourism stakeholders especially within the European region. Over all, ILTM travel fair in Cannes, France has concluded with a high note, creating the platform for ensuring high potential for growth lying ahead for Sri Lanka’s luxury travel segment in the European region in particular.

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Premier reveals plan to establish major tourist zone in Uva Province

Prime Minister Ranil Wickrmesinghe visiting the Ella Railway Station during his inspection tour in the Uva Province.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickrmesinghe visiting the Ella Railway Station during his inspection tour in the Uva Province.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted the need to develop the Uva Province as a tourist zone, centred on the Ella-Wellawaya region in accordance with a strategic plan.

He was presiding over a meeting at the Ella Divisional Secretariat during an unscheduled inspection tour of the Ella town on December 22 evening.

The meeting attended by officials in the area including the Divisional Secretary and the Pradesheeya Sabaha Secretary focused attention on the current status of the area’s tourist industry.

The officials attending the meeting pointed out that nearly 1,000 hotels and other residential lodgings are in the area.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the number contradicted the statistics given by the Tourist Board that claimed only 300 rooms. He directed the officials to conduct a proper census on the number of rooms available and submit an urgent report to him detailing shortcomings that obstruct the development of tourism in the area so that they could be addressed soon.

The Prime Minister said a heavy rush of tourists to the area could be seen by the middle of next year when the Mattala Airport and the Hambantota port activities kick started. The Ella area had to be developed as a main tourist zone, he said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe pointed out that an environment-friendly tourism development plan should be drawn up for the region including its main landmarks as tbe Dowa Viharaya, Namunukula and Ravana Caves and requested officials to forward their proposals in this regard.

He said new hotels and restaurants should be built conforming to the tourism development plan.

The Premier said discussions would be held with peoples’ representatives in the area and relevant ministers before finalising the plan. He said the agriculture industry in the area should be developed to cater to the needs of tourists.

The Prime Minister discussed measures to develop the Ella Railway Station as well.

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Tourists visit iconic Nine Arches Bridge

Large numbers of local tourists enjoyed themselves at Nine Arches Bridge which is one of the most iconic bridges in Sri Lanka and one of the best examples of British railway constructions when Ceylon was yet a colony of the British Empire in Demodara, on 22 December. It is located in Demodara, between Ella and Demodara railway stations. As of the past decade the surrounding area has seen a steady increase of tourism due to the bridge’s architectural ingenuity and the profuse greenery in the nearby hillsides. It is often likened to the countryside through which the fictional Hogwarts express passes through in the Harry Potter world – Pic by Pradeep Pathirana

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Tourist Police gets modern rovers and trail bikes to enhance safety

Sri Lanka has become a world leader in destinations that guarantee traveller safety, Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka said yesterday.

The Minister made this remark at a ceremony held at Independence Square in Colombo to hand over motorcycles and beach rover vehicles to the Tourist Police, as part of a proposal in Budget 2018.

A total of 18 trail motorbikes, two regular motorbikes, and four beach rovers were distributed among the Police Transport Division, and the tourist police outposts in Sigiriya, Arugambay, Anuradhapura, Negombo, Moragalla, Polonnaruwa, Passikudah, Narigama and Kandy.

Speaking at the event, Minister Ratnayaka said that the tourism industry has started to contribute to the national economy in a big way, and is now developing rapidly.

“When travellers pick their next destination, they give special consideration to the safety measures provided for tourists. It plays a part in deciding what country to go to,” he said, noting that Rs. 50 million has been obtained through the Budget to develop the Tourist Police. Tourism Minister Johan Amaratunga who also spoke at the event said that next a year further Rs. 50 million will be allocated to the Tourist Police, as the tourism industry is expanding to all parts of the country.

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Miss Intercontinental of Netherlands enthralled by Sri Lanka

Miss Intercontinental of Netherlands 2017, Cathelijne Heppenhuis who was on a special two-week visit to Sri Lanka organised by Aitken Spence Travels, expressed her enchantment with the island, saying, “I loved the hospitality of the Sri Lankan people where they would always smile and say hi….This has made me feel as if this is one big family. This is also an opportunity for people from Netherlands to learn from Sri Lankans where the Sri Lankans are very rich in their hearts.”

Cathelijne said that her most memorable experiences were seeing a leopard at Yala, making coconut rotis and coconut sambols, coming into contact with “the real Sri Lankan lifestyle”.

“I enjoyed seeing the wildlife in its natural habitat and not in a zoo. Seeing monkeys in person was definitely a lovely experience of Sri Lanka,” said Cathelijne.

Heppenhuis visited Sri Lanka’s hill country and the Southern coast. She was hosted for lunch by Aitken Spence Travels on Wednesday in Colombo.

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