Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau bagged the ‘’Best Performance Award’’ at the 33rd Korean International Travel Fair (KOFTA 2018) which was held from 14th to 17th June at the 33rd COEX Exhibition center in Seoul, Korea. The wide variety of traditional dance performances which depicted the glamorous Sri Lankan culture, enabled the visitors at the fair enjoy the colorful performances to their hearts content. Sri Lanka made its contribution with the initiative of creating awareness of the island nation as an attractive tourist destination, among the Korean public and the travel trade, also to encourage more Korean tourist arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka was also highly recognized for the creative display of its main themes, such as wild life, pristine beaches and heritage. All these elements showcased the potential Sri Lanka has in attracting tourists as a global holiday destination.
Members of Parliament of Sri Lanka Hon. Harshana Rajakaruna and Hon. Sujith Sanjaya Perera;, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea Manisha Gunasekera; Market officer Dilukshi Wickramasinghe- SLTPB with trade participants at Sri Lanka Pavilion at KOTFA 2018
SLTPB’s participation was a collaborative effort with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Korea along with several industry partners, which included Amaya Resorts and Spas, Jetwing Travels, Deluxe Vacations (Pvt)Ltd, Royal Holidays, Season’s Travels, Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt)Ltd, Jaya Lanka Tours (Pvt) Ltd, and Andrew the Travel Company(Pvt) Ltd. These local travel agents gained an exclusive opportunity by connecting with their Korean counterparts, and thereby gaining positive outcomes of their meetings. The official opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka pavilion took place amidst the distinguished presence of Members of Parliament, Hon. Harshana Rajakaruna, Hon. Sujith Sanjaya Perera, Nooh Woong Rae, Member of the Korean Assembly, H.E Manisha Gunasekera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea, Shin Joong Mok, Chairman, KOFTA, and Ms. Dilukshi Wickremasinghe, Market officer, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Manisha Gunasekera, with Members of Parliament Harshana Rajakaruna and Sujith Sanjaya Perera, formally presented two beautifully framed photographs to the Chief Priest of the Jogyesa Temple the Most Venerable Jihyun.
The attractive Sri Lanka pavilion with its colorful display drew the attention of the Korean visitors who were impressed with the variety of dance performances by the Olaboduwa Dance Academy, getting the chance of sipping a cup of the world famous Ceylon tea, and grabbing opportunities to win gifts by participating in various mini-competitions. The visitors were curious to know more information about the destination, in order to include Sri Lanka in their next travel itinerary. The time which they spent at the Sri Lanka pavilion was an experience to remember, of a compact holiday destination which has everything in store for the ideal traveler.
All major tourist destinations of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa actively participated at KOTFA, which is the single largest consumer travel exposition in Korea, attracting more than 70,000 visitors.
KOTFA presenting the award for the best performance to Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau-Market officer–Dilukshi Wickramasinghe and the performance team
In addition to the participation at the fair, Sri Lanka Tourism also organized a special ‘’Sri Lanka day’’ for the first time in the busy capital of Seoul, in collaboration with the Korean Culture Association and the SEOULLO Management office, on Saturday 16th June 2018, at SEOULLO 7017 – Magnolia Square. This gala festival highlighted the colorful Sri Lankan culture with a wide array of traditional dance performances, displaying and selling traditional Sri Lankan products including pure Ceylon tea, Sri Lankan Batiks,Sri Lankan gems and jewellery, Spa products and Sri Lankan food. The event also included attractive games and quizzes which everyone enjoyed, both children and adults alike. The spicy aroma of Sri Lankan cuisine livened up the taste buds of those who visited the Sri Lanka pavilion while the traditional dance performances added glamour to the event, depicting a truly Sri Lankan atmosphere.
The crowd at the Sri Lanka Festival- at SEOULLO 7017 – Magnolia Square-South Korea
The Sri Lanka day was declared open by members of Parliament Hon. Harshana Rajakaruna and Hon. Sujith Sanjaya Perera,H.E the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea Manisha Gunasekera; Chairman Korea International Travel Fair (KOTFA) Shin Joong Mok; and representatives of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, SEOULLO management office, the Korean Culture Association, and Dilukshi Wickramasinghe-Market officer – Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.The Korean counterparts were able to hold important meetings with Sri Lankan industry participants to further enhance their business platforms and investment opportunities.
SLTPB further strengthened the cultural and religious ties between the two nations by presenting tokens of appreciation to the most. Ven . Jihyun , Chief priest of the Jogyesa Temple, and also to chief priests of four Sri Lankan Buddhist temples located in Seoul. The promotional activities done by SLTPB in Korea will encourage more Korean tourists to visit Sri Lanka specially because of the similar cultural and religious backgrounds of the two nations, and also to experience its vivid diversity of attractions and the diversified multi – ethnic culture.