Monday, 19 April 2010
A fully-fledged Tourist Police force has been established at SLTDA premises. Its functions are to re-establish a network of tourists Police stations in key areas for visitors, both local and foreign to enjoy a hassle free holiday.
According to the SLTDA, special Police units apart from the general police duties are assigned to serve tourists in all matters of guidance relief in adverse situations they have co-ordination with the tourist hotels and cover locations of the frequent and lodge.
The division is responsible to safeguard Sri Lankans from negative practice such as use of children for commercial sex, drugs, and other undesirable activities, SLTDA said.
The emergency service Police have in operation strategies to assist the public or any organization encountering adverse situations of any level, which may arise at any unexpected hour disrupting the normal way of life in the society,
The police emergency centre on 1-1-9 operating at Inspector Generals command Information centre Mirihana receives all public calls of emergencies and prompt action is taken, SLTDA said.The entire island is covered by 401 police stations, which are at service 24 hours of the day.
The relevant local police station and the authorities too will be informed of the complaint in any part of the country.According to authorities, in case of emergencies the Police Emergency Response Crew will be at the doorstep within 15 minutes, and in all other outstation areas the distance and the terrain would effect the response time in reaching the location but will be quickly as possible.
The general public could make complain which are entertained and addressed at the earliest. The public has the right to request an acknowledgment of the complaint made.
With the tourism to the region on the rise the need to develop infrastructure for tourists such as hotels and restaurants has also risen, the government says.
Accordingly, the government is planning to construct a number of hotels and restaurants and other facilities in both Northern Jaffna peninsula and in the East.
Government statistics say nearly 4 million tourists have arrived in Jaffna after the end of the war. A large number of tourists also arrive in the east to visit the beaches in the area.
The government plans to establish a tourist corridor along the coastal line connecting Arugum Bay, PasikKudah Beach in Batticaloa and Nilaweli Beach in Trincomalee.
You’d think you were in an English market, only it’s perched bizarrely on a narrow mountain ridge with a sheer drop on both sides.
Haputale, which has an elevation of 1,579 meters, sits on the southern edge of the Sri Lankian central highlands. You’ll find remnants of Sri Lanka’s British legacy in the numerous tea plantations around the town, among them the Dambatenne Tea Estate, which processes tea leaves using Victorian machines to this day.
To get to Haputale, jump on trains on the Columbo-Badulla line to Kandy or Nuwara Eliya.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
The country''s tourism board suggested that part of its popularity could be down to the fact that it features a wealth of attractions in an area no larger than Ireland.Sri Lanka Tourism marketing manager for the UK and Ireland Nabeel Shariff explained that visitors who head inland away from the famous beaches are likely to find several different worlds.
He recommended that those heading to the north of the island visit the ancient capital cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, which both "provide a step back into ancient times".Meanwhile, Lion Rock should be top of a list of visitors'' priorities, as the "mystical story of Sigirya leaves one in awe of ancient engineering", Mr Shariff said.
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
The other countries recommended by the magazine for a ‘memorable holiday’ are Malaysia, Thailand, India, Bulgaria, Croatia, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt and Hungary.
Meanwhile travel analysts expect that in 2010 the global tourist industry will return to its pre-crisis levels with growing interest towards the event tourism, Novinite reports.
The National Geographic channel recently in an exclusive report categorized Sri Lanka as the second best place to visit. The commentators, Times Travel Writer Jil Crawshow and Editor of Wandertrust Magazine describe Sri Lanka as ‘definitely a best place to visit’.
The National Geographic Adventure too has ranked Sri Lanka as the Second Best New Trips for 2010 out of 25 countries, accrediting the country as the “Wonder of the World.” Sri Lanka was ranked as the number one tourist destination by the ‘New York Times’ in its list of “31 Places to go in 2010”.
Just days after this ranking, a leading lifestyle web resource, Daily Candy, weighed in with a similarly enthusiastic travel recommendation, Praising Sri Lanka as “the best place ever been”. Tourist arrivals in the country increased sharply from May in 2009 after defeating terrorism.
Bader Abdul Wahab Al Rifai, Secretary General and the staff of the National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters, have made all the arrangements in this regard to make the week-long celebrations a success.
A 28-member cultural troupe from “Chandana Wickramasinghe and the Dancers Guild” will perform “Sri Lak Rangana”, a cultural extravaganza throughout the week featuring Sri Lanka’s well-known historical and contemporary dance and fusion acts while an orchestra will entertain the guests with classical music.
Parallel to the main event a handicraft exhibition will also be held throughout the week, which will feature Sri Lanka’s handicraft, cottage industries, handlooms, masks, bronze items, gems & jewellery and other ornaments.
A Sri Lankan Food Festival too has been planned at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuwait to introduce Sri Lankan cuisine and flavour to the Arab guests. A Batik Designer/Artist, Sonali Dharmawardene, a member of the group of Sri Lankan artists is scheduled to make special presentations on the theme “Batik, Lifestyles & Role of Sri Lankan Women” to audiences of high profile ladies in Kuwait.
“Sri Lanka Culture Week” will feature following main events and attractions.
1. “Sri Lak Rangana” cultural performances and classical music
2. Exhibition of handicraft, artifacts, paintings, cottage industries etc.
3. Presentations on “Batik, Lifestyle & Role of Sri Lankan Women”
4. Sri Lankan Food Festival
5. Presentation on “Destination Sri Lanka”
The Sri Lankan community and well-wishers in Kuwait have conveyed their appreciation to the organizers of the “Sri Lanka Culture Week” for providing an opportunity to experience a truly Sri Lankan event featuring culture, heritage, music, food, fashion, handicraft and other Sri Lankan made products etc.
The celebrations would facilitate further promotion of Sri Lanka – Kuwait relations and would help create awareness on Sri Lanka’s rich culture, heritage, dance, music etc. among the Kuwaitis and foreign expatriate community.
- Asian Tribune -
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
The number of tourists from the Middle East to Sri Lanka doubled in January 2010, compared to the same month the previous year.
Official figures from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority show the strongest growth was registered in Qatar, which was up 171 percent, followed by the UAE (164 percent), Saudi Arabia (127 percent), and Kuwait (135 percent).
Early indications pointed to “double-digit growth” for the number of visitors from the region holidaying in Sri Lanka this year, Mr. Mansoori said.
The figures were revealed during the Sri Lankan Food Festival, held at the Renaissance Dubai Hotel from April 7-21, Arabian Business reported.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau ties up with Renaissance Hotel, Dubai to launch Sri Lankan Food Festival
Destination Sri Lanka reported a major influx of Arab travellers as Middle East Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka surged 50% in January, 2010 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics compiled by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and announced by the Middle East office of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board (SLTPB).
"We are confident of the early results, and are on track to surpass figures attained last year where tourist arrivals saw a double-digit growth," said Heba Al Ghais Al Mansoori, Middle East Director of SLTPB based in Dubai.
Announcing the results, Ms. Al Mansoori confirmed that the strongest growth was registered from the UAE (up by 164%), Saudi Arabia (up by 127%), Qatar (171%), Kuwait (up by 135%) and Jordan among others. Apart from the Middle East, regions that saw a marked increase in visitors are Western and Eastern Europe, and South Asia. Read more
Sunday, 4 April 2010
The programme was launched early last year inviting hotels to join in the tourism hotel sector climate change mitigation programme, 39 hotels registered covering different scale, type of hotels and locations including Colombo, Kaluthara, Beruwela, Bentota, Tissamaharamaya, Trincomalee, Galle, Hikkaduwa, Yala, Bandarawela, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Negombo, Habarana, Sigiriya and Dambulla.
The objective of the Greening Sri Lanka Hotels was to optimise energy efficiency and conservation of natural resources towards making the hospitality sector more sustainable. While reducing the carbon footprint addressing climate change global issues, the main aim was to assist hotels to reduce costs of operations
This is how Sri Lanka is described on the National Geographic website which recently awarded the island the second spot on its list of the world’s 20 best tourist destinations which includes some of the most exotic and exclusive locations such as Bali. This latest accolade follows a recent spate of positive reviews the country has received, placing it well on the international map, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).
The National Geographic’s countdown show included Sri Lanka’s beaches, food and wildlife in addition to must see attractions such as Sigiriya as features to entice tourists to the island.
In a statement, the SLTPB’s Managing Director Dileep Mudadeniya said Sri Lanka is proud to have received such prestigious reviews from a reputable media channel such as National Geographic.
“The network, as always, carried positive features on Sri Lanka and we are regularly featured on Animal Planet as well,” he said. The National Geographic’s features also included sound bytes from internationally reputed travel writers for the Times, Jill Crawshaw and Editor for Wanderlust magazine, Lyn Hughes.
The SLTPB said it has been working continuously with all international media groups and with National Geographic in particularly, providing information on various facets of Sri Lanka Tourism. The SLTPB added that as a destination, Sri Lanka is also on the threshold of being granted the status of being a ‘Geo tourism’ site through the National Geographic group. Expectations are that the new status will increase the number of inbound tourists, bringing in a new fast rising segment of tourists who only frequent ‘Geo tourism’ destinations.
According to the SLTPB, National Geographic Canada was in Sri Lanka last year shooting footage for an episode of its popular series ‘Departures’ which will be aired on the programme’s fourth season. Sri Lanka has also been heavily featured in National Geographic publications including a 20 page photo spread in National Geographic China this year.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
With the ceremonial inauguration of the Skills Certification Centre (SCC) - a training hub located at the Taj Samudra, Colombo and catering for the 5 Taj Hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldive islands, the chain becomes the first Group in Sri Lanka to offer such sophisticated hotel-specific training services.
The Skills Certification Centre is geared with all facilities that assist to move forward from the traditional training methods. Highly effective simulation-based training is undertaken in a model restaurant, model room and model Front desk where environments, conditions and situations are recreated to ensure the highest levels of learning. A model kitchen is currently under development. All staff at the Taj hotels will undergo certification of core competencies at the SCC under the guidance of expert trainers.
The SCC also has a fully equipped IT unit which caters to both the fundamental training in use of computers as well as more specific training in the use of key hotel software and databases.
Being a member of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, which operates over eighty hotels across five continents gives the Skills Certification Centre the unique ability to draw from a pool of competent training personnel from across the globe. In addition, the Institute of Hotel Management in Aurangabad, India, is a world class centre in hospitality education under the auspice of Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. In the one and a half decades from it's inception, the institute has retained its position of being the most sought after Institute of Hotel Management in Asia and has even been nominated as one of the eight "Leading Hotel Schools of the World".
In addition to the inauguration of the SCC, The Taj Hotel Management Training Programme which is a broad based competency enhancement course, has already selected three young, vibrant and ambitious employees who are now well into their learning in the Taj Training Centre in New Delhi.
In another such endeavour, Taj has selected 12 talented individuals - 10 of whom where chosen from various Hotel Catering and Training Institutes and the balance two from Taj Hotels in Sri lanka - for it's Hotel Operations Management Training Programme. These individuals will be sent to both Aurangabad and Chennai. Here they will receive training in Food Production and Food Service competencies both in terms of technical training as well as on the job training in key properties of the Taj.
Says Vimal Seth, Area Director and General Manager, this is one of the many steps the Group will take to foster benchmark service standards in Sri Lanka. The Group has the human capital, foresight and above all sheer determination to be a force in Sri Lanka's Tourism Boom". He adds "This is the imperative role we must play toward developing skills and society at large".
Thursday, 1 April 2010
The latest accolade comes from the National Geographic which says ‘Exotic Sri Lanka’ is placed at No. 2 from among twenty of the best destinations in the world. The video shows Travel Writer, Jill Crawshaw saying ‘Sri Lanka has got absolutely everything’ and Lyn Hughes Editor Wanderlust Magazine describes - ‘Sri Lanka is arguably one of the greatest islands in the world’