A group of Indian media personnel including Journalists, bloggers and influencers arrived in Colombo on the 15th of November, in order to develop Bilateral connections and show their support as a good neighbor to promote Sri Lanka and help it to keep its status as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Initially, most of the tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka this year consisted of Indian tourists, showing their interest and enthusiasm in getting to know the similar cultural and natural heritage in both countries, historic locations and numerous travel opportunities.
Subsequently, a media crew of 17 journalists, bloggers and influencers participated in this tour, as they represented mainstream Media houses such as the “Times of India”, “The Hindu”, White Hat Media (Pvt) Ltd. National Geography Traveler, YouTube channel – Tamil Navigation, Instagram – Malayali Yathtrakal, dark angel, Surbhi – Travel & Lifestyle blogger, Explore with ecocats, lemonicks.com, etc. The Media crew was divided into 3 groups as to cover Heritage, Southern coast, and Adventure. This was the first time where a media delegation was made to report on separate sections on one tour, and promoting tourism in a more progressive way.
In reporting heritage, they visited places such as Ridi Viharaya, Minneriya, Anuradhapura, Mihintale, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Cave Temple, Pollonnaruwa, Spice Gardens, Peradeniya Botanical Garden, Temple of Tooth Relic, Cultural dance performances, Giragama Tea Factory, Embekke Devalaya in Kandy and Negombo beaches. They were amazed with the magic and splendor it had to offer, and of the proud heritage which have been preserved for many years.
The group which covered the Southern belt of Sri Lanka and had the opportunity of giving coverage to the Yala National Park, Hambantota, Galle and Mirissa. They also had the opportunity of getting involved in activities including visiting the Kanneliya rain forest, the Lunugaga estate, Dutch Fort – Galle, and whale watching at Mirissa. The Lunugaga estate took a special place as this was the Country house of the renowned Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa. En route the Media crew visited the Kande Vihara, where the 160 feet tall Buddha statue is believed to be one of the tallest in the world. Another attraction was whale and Dolphin watching experience in Mirissa, where they could view various species of whales and Dolphins performing acrobatics in the warm Indian ocean.
The third group went on an adventure trail as they covered areas including locations such as Kandy, Horton plains – Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Bentota, etc. They visited the Peradeniya Botanical gardens, The Temple of the sacred tooth Relic, the Hantana Mountain range which is a popular adventure hub for those who would be interested in hiking, camping and bird watching, and enjoying the nature where a spectacular view of the Kandy city could be seen from the highest peak. All these specific locations offered enough and more content for the Media group to deliver through their respective Media houses. They had an early morning leave for Horton plains, the only national park situated in the Hill country which is Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau at an elevation of more than 2000 meters located in the Nuwara Eliya district. After an evening walk in the Nuwara Eliya City, they proceeded to Ella by train and finally Bentota, which saw the conclusion of the Tour.
Thus, the Indian Media delegation had a memorable experience of witnessing Sri Lanka’s unique diversity, its cultural prestige, and the many holiday opportunities it has to offer. This Media FAM Tour is considered as an exclusive opportunity to promote Sri Lanka among the Indian tourists and encourage more Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, especially as both countries share similar historical and cultural aspects, traditions and religious sites. It will also be an opportunity to convey a positive message that Sri Lanka is safe and secure. India has recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals this year, surpassing all other countries, once more proving it’s support as a good neighbor.