Sri Lanka Tourism and Aitken Spence Hotels and Resorts hosted a fellowship for international and local journalists covering the ongoing cricket tournament between Sri Lanka and England.
The fellowship, attended by a large number of foreign journalists and international cricket commentators, took place at the Heritance Kandalama Hotel, the flagship property of Aitken Spence Hotels and Resorts, last week. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Ministry of Sports also supported the initiative.
“Members of the international press are the ones who portray Sri Lanka’s image overseas and it is important to build up a channel of communication with them. We are extremely pleased that representatives of some leading international news and media networks were present at the event. Apart from covering the cricket tournament between Sri Lanka and England, they will also help us tell our story to the world,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka said explaining the objective of the initiative.
Ratnayaka also thanked Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts for partnering with SLTDA, and Sri Lanka Cricket for facilitating an initiative of this sort.
“Our Tourism Strategic Plan (2017-2020) talks about the importance of strengthening Sri Lanka’s image as a welcoming host. Sometimes brief gestures of this nature go a long way in shaping the ‘brand image’ of our nation,” Ratnayaka said adding that plans were underway, with the involvement of the private sector, to welcome and entertain Barmy Army – the semi-organised group of English cricket fan following their team on overseas tour – who will be visiting Sri Lanka for the bilateral Test series.
The fellowship included several traditional dance items showcasing Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage. It also raised awareness of Sri Lanka’s scenic tourism destinations and world-renowned cultural sites.
In addition to the main events, a giveaway social media competition was also held among the foreign journalists at the reception to promote Sri Lanka on their social media platforms.
They were asked to upload an image of Sri Lanka on Instagram with the caption “Why people should visit Sri Lanka” as they think and in one hour, three people with the maximum number of likes received gift vouchers from Heritance Kandalama.