A group of eight professional bloggers and influencers representing the United Kingdom recently embarked on a captivating journey through the resplendent island of Sri Lanka as part of a destination promotional Familiarization Tour under UK market. Organized by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, this highly successful tour provided an immersive experience, showcasing the country's rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, natural wonders, and warm hospitality including other diverse attractions to the group.
The FAM Tour spanned 11 days from 27th May to 06th June. The tour unveiled a tapestry of experiences, weaving together a vibrant narrative of Sri Lanka's diverse attractions. The carefully curated itinerary showcased key highlights in each place visited, leaving an indelible impression on the media delegation and inspiring their audiences back in the United Kingdom.
They visited key tourism attractions such as Negombo, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya, Trincomalee, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella,Yala, Galle, and Colombo showcasing the best that Sri Lanka has to offer, from ancient historical sites to pristine beaches, lush tea plantations, Tea culture & trails, wildlife encounters, culture and lifestyle, sustainable tourism initiatives, conservation projects and much more.
Negombo Fish Market Tour
Exploring Paddy Cultivation
During their visit, the media delegation had the opportunity to delve into the rich historical heritage of Sri Lanka through visits to iconic landmarks such as the ancient city of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa Dambulla and the British Colonial charms of Galle Fort, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo. They marveled at the architectural grandeur and spiritual significance of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The tour also highlighted Sri Lanka's stunning natural beauty, with visits to picturesque locations such as the tea-growing region of Nuwara Eliya, the wildlife haven of Yala National Park, and the awe-inspiring Ella Gap.The participants were able to witness firsthand the island's incredible biodiversity and experience thrilling encounters with elephants, leopards, and a myriad of exotic bird species during their visits to Minneriya National Park and Yala National Park.
In Trincomalee, the delegation had the opportunity to embark on a mesmerizing dolphin-watching excursion and a boat ride to Pigeon Island, immersing themselves in the pristine beauty of the coastal waters. They visited Koneshwaram Temple and Nilaveli Beach and explored the different charms of the East Cost of Sri Lanka.
During their visit to Nuwara Eliya, they had the unique opportunity to experience The Pekoe Trail, a new tourism product, that took them from Kandapola to Pedro Estate, in stage 22, a 10 kilometers trek offering a picturesque journey through tea plantations and scenic landscapes. The trail ended at Pedro Tea Factory visit where they witnessed the tea processing and a tea-tasting session was arranged to introduce different varieties of Tea produced in the highlands. The Pekoe Trail experience was sponsored by Mr. Miguel Cunat and coordinated by Ms.Vishadini Fernando . The trail has given the opportunity to encounter Sri Lanka’s rich heritage, intriguing history and unique culture while traversing hills, plains, villages, and Ceylon Tea plantations. It is project funded by European Union and endorsed by Sri Lanka Tourism as a new tourism product.
The scenic train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella presented the media representatives with breathtaking vistas, including the iconic Ella Rock, captivating their senses and leaving an indelible mark of the ride regarded as one of the most scenic train rides in the world.
Throughout their journey, the media group had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich local culture, traditions and hospitality of Sri Lankan people. In Tissa, they witnessed the awe-inspiring Sri Lankan Poson Poya Perahera pageant, a grand religious procession conducted by Tissamaharama Rajamaha Vihara, and experienced the warmth of Sri Lankans by visiting a free food stall (Dansela), indulging in delicious Sri Lankan cuisine. The Chief incumbent of the Temple gave a sermon to the guests about Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy in depth.
During the tour they indulged in delectable culinary experiences, from visits to fish markets, aromatic spice gardens to authentic cooking demonstrations at Hiriwadunna, which showcased the island's unique flavors and culinary traditions.
The tour concluded in the vibrant capital city Colombo, where the media experienced the bustling energy, modernity, and cultural diversity of Colombo, Colonial buildings submerging themselves in its vibrant atmosphere.
The UK Media FAM Tour also shed light on sustainable tourism initiatives practiced by Sri Lankan hoteliers and tourism zones, especially in locations such as Negombo, Sigiriya, Galle and Kandy further highlighting the destination's commitment to responsible, nature-friendly, community-based tourism eco-system practiced the service providers. The media professionals were highly impressed by the service standards of the hoteliers and the ease of access to attractions and overall travel-friendly conditions prevailing in the country.
The group had been sharing their experiences via social media handles while on tour with their respective audiences and scheduled to publish further exciting stories in depth in their blogs which will undoubtedly inspire many UK travellers to embark on their own journey to Sri Lanka.
"The UK Media FAM Tour has been a transformative journey, exceeding our expectations and reshaping our perception of Sri Lanka, we were captivated by the country's unparalleled beauty, warmth, and generosity of the Sri Lankan people, the stunning landscapes, and the fascinating cultural experiences. It was truly an unforgettable adventure." remarked the UK media crew on the conclusion of the FAM Tour named Glamorous Sri Lanka .
Various tourism stakeholders such as Aitken Spence Travels, Jetwing Hotels, Thema Collection of Hotels, Shangri-La Resorts, Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge, Cinnamon Hotels, Tabula Rasa Resort, collaborated with Sri Lanka Tourism to organize this promotion by providing exceptional services and experiences to the media group.
Enjoying Sri Lankan Hospitality - Dansela
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau extends sincere gratitude to all participants, industry partners, Sri Lankan Airlines, High Commission of Sri Lanka in London for their contribution to the success of the event.
Under the UK market promotional strategy, Sri Lanka Tourism is planning to conduct more events and promotions of this nature including trade promotions to position Sri Lanka as the most preferred destination in Asia for UK travellers. United Kingdom has been among the top 03 arrival-generating markets to Sri Lanka since its inception.
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