Sri Lanka is safe for travelers was the key message conveyed at a briefing held by the Sri Lanka High Commission yesterday at the Shangri-La hotel for the National Association of Travel Agents of Singapore (NATAS). The event was organized in association with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and SriLankan Airlines with a view to restoring confidence among outbound tour operators.
The event opened with a spectacular Sri Lankan dance performance by students of Sri Lankaramaya Dhamma School in Singapore, showcasing the “Pooja dance” and “Paththini Dance” which added colour to the event and were also a fitting depiction of Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, diversity, and artistic prowess.
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore, Sashikala Premawardhane in her presentation highlighting the key pillars of the “ So Sri Lanka” tourism campaign and spoke of Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, civilizational history, pristine nature, biodiversity and island life. She mentioned that tourists travelling to Sri Lanka could focus on overall wellbeing with specific packages available for those interested in Ayurveda and healing. For adventure enthusiasts, she described the range of activities that include hot air ballooning, surfing, diving and paragliding. The potential that exists to further increase outbound tourist arrivals from Singapore was emphasized with Sri Lanka being just 4 hours away with 31 flights connecting the two countries on a weekly basis. The High Commissioner urged the travel operators of Singapore to encourage their clientele to focus on Sri Lanka as their preferred destination, as the country has returned to normalcy with the requisite security measures in place after the tragic Easter Sunday attacks.
Speaking at the event, SriLankan Airlines Country Manager, Mr.Mohan Meegolla stated that SriLankan flew its 2nd international flight to Singapore in 1979 and had ever since been an active partner in ensuring air connectivity between the two countries. Mr. Meegolla further shared the details of flights operated between the two capitals. He assured those present that SriLankan Airlines would assist and facilitate tour groups organized by NATAS members.
Organizing the event at Shangri-La Singapore was symbolic as Shangri La-Colombo was one of the Hotels targeted in Easter Sunday attacks. A short video showcasing the reopening of Shangri-La Colombo was also screened demonstrating solidarity towards the Hotel and Tourism industry affected by the tragic event.
Representatives from over 40 tour operators who are part of the National Association of Travel Agents of Singapore participated in the event.