Myriad experiences - GulfToday

Myriad experiences


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Gamini Lakshman Peiris, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, said that Expo 2020 Dubai is a great opportunity and a world-class platform to promote his country as a major tourist attraction.

During Sri Lanka’s National Day celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai, Peiris noted that the warm hospitality shown to tourists by the Sri Lankan people is one of the main pillars that boost his country’s appeal as a tourist destination.

“In my opinion, Expo 2020 Dubai is an ideal opportunity for a country like Sri Lanka to showcase its various capabilities,” he added, highlighting his country’s position as a world-leading producers of spices, as it accounts for nearly 85 per cent of the total global cinnamon production, he noted.

The presence of nearly 300,000 Sri Lankan citizens in the UAE is another aspect that helps enhance the bilateral ties between the two countries, he further added.

“Sri Lankans who reside in the UAE view it as their second home, and contribute to boosting the UAE’s economy,” Peiris affirmed.

Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism statistics show that over 104,000 people visited the country between January and February 2021, with Indian tourists accounting for 32.1 per cent, while 8.5 per cent came from the United Kingdom, 8 per cent from Russia and 6 per cent from Germany.

Sri Lanka celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of Peiris, who inaugurated several cultural events, showcasing the country’s heritage and history, on the sidelines of the celebration.

Buoyed on by a steady increase in tourist arrivals, Sri Lanka, with confidence and pride, presented the country’s tourism roadmap on the Expo 2020 Sri Lanka National Day which was celebrated on Monday, 03 January 2022, at the Expo Media Centre in Dubai.

Expo 2020 Sri Lanka National Day was led by Honourable G. L. Peiris, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Prasanna Ranatunga, the Minister of Tourism & Aviation and Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism and Commissioner General for EXPO 2020 Dubai. The event shed light on Sri Lanka’s readiness for growth and revival of the Tourism industry post-pandemic. In addition, the National Day attracted visitors with colourful cultural performances performed at the Al Wasl Plaza situated at the Stage of Nations.

Inbound tourism in Sri Lanka is booming due to the successful implementation of the vaccination programme. As a result, the country is witnessing a decline in COVID-19 infections, with over 85% of the eligible population from Sri Lanka’s 21.9 million being vaccinated. In addition, the administering of booster Pfizer vaccines is rapidly progressing, with priority being given to personnel from the travel industry.

During the event, Kimarli Fernando quoted, “Sri Lanka has recovered post-pandemic with confidence, and the country is now steadily moving forward, prioritising its tourism sector in the interests of the country and travel-hungry tourists. We are honoured to be awarded the ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ by the World Travel and Tourism organisation (UNWTO) and World Travel & Tourism Council in 2021.”

The destination is fully operational and delighting vaccinated as well as non-vaccinated tourists, with a set of health & safety protocols to follow:

Vaccinated travellers do not need on-arrival PCR tests and can stay at any type of accommodation.

Not-vaccinated travellers need a Covid-19 test at the arrival and must stay in a ‘Flexible bio-bubble’ with all facilities of the hotels made available and the ability to visit approved tourist sites.

All visitors must pay local Covid-19 insurance of $12 with one month cover of $50,000

Sri Lanka’s large forest cover accounts for around 30 per cent of its landmass, and with waterways hidden inland, the country is a haven for those seeking to connect with their inner self to heal from the stresses of modern living. Recognised as one of the World’s Top Wellness Destinations in 2021 by the Global Wellness Institute, Sri Lanka is the perfect Wellness Getaway destination with Ayurveda treatment and Yoga meditation offered by most tourist resorts. In addition, there are forest lodges and hermitages where one can truly relax and find solace in being one with nature.

“As a pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has unique cultural and geological features. Our country has shining blue water beaches, rich cultural heritage, National Parks and avenues for Adventurous outings. A holiday in Sri Lanka is no longer an on-screen experience due to a pandemic. We are open and greeting visitors with a warm Ayubowan!” added Kimarli Fernando to conclude the event.

Travellers planning a holiday to Sri Lanka can visit the Sri Lanka Pavilion in the Opportunity District at Expo 2020 Dubai for more information and guidance. Visitors at the Pavilion can also relish a world-famous Ceylon Tea served with warm hospitality. Further, the Pavilion offers attractive prizes through a raffle draw, including airline tickets to Sri Lanka courtesy of Sri Lankan Airlines and exquisite gem-studded jewellery through Gem and jewellery Authority.

The Sri Lanka’s National Day at the Expo 2020 Dubai, held on Monday. The National Day ceremony was inaugurated by Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris, and Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga.

Sri Lanka’s pavilion is in operation for a period of 6 months and the key event for Sri Lanka being the designated national day on Monday was to be graced by the Prime Minister, Sri Lankan Ambassador to UAE, Minister of Tourism, Chairperson Sri Lanka Tourism and other dignitaries.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa was reportedly invited by the Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to visit the Expo as a Chief Guest the National Day for Sri Lanka at the Expo. However, it has been reported that the Premier will not be participating in the event due to current economic crisis in the country.

Expo 2020 Dubai, the global event commenced on Oct.1 last year and will run until March 31, 2022 with the participation of 192 countries. National Days are set aside for each country, and tomorrow is for Sri Lanka.

The Expo spans across 438 hectare area of desert land under the thematic districts of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability of the Expo Village.

The Sri Lanka Pavilion, located in the ‘Opportunity District’, showcases the country’s advancements in the fields of telecommunications, information technology, and research. It also promotes Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and showcases innovative products and services that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the country.

The Sri Lanka Tea Board, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, the Gem and Jewellery Authority, the Tourism Promotion Bureau, SriLankan Airlines, the Export Development Board and several other local institutions have stalls in the pavilion for the promotion of Sri Lankan exports.

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