‘Sri Lankan Night’ at the ‘Third Rome’

Monday, 8 July 2013 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The two-week long ‘Mega Tourism Caravan’ commenced its first phase on beginning of July in the capital city of Russia, Moscow. This promotional campaign, which will be conducted in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ufa and Yekaterinburg covering a distance of almost 4,000 kilometres on wheels, is the follow-up of the ‘Mega Tourism Road Show’ held in March-April 2013, in the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Republic of Kazakhstan. This enormous task of organising weeks-long tourism campaigns firstly in four major cities of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and subsequently in four major cities in Russia for the second time would not have been a reality if not for the efforts of Udayanga Weeratunga, the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation. His experience and knowledge on the tourism industry paved the way to successfully organise both ‘Mega Tourism Road Show’ and ‘Mega Tourism Caravan’. This time also the main collaborator of the campaign is the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau under the patronage of Chairman Bashwara Gunarathna. This time the campaign commenced its proceedings with a cultural show, namely the ‘Sri Lanka Night’ at the Hotel Lotte Plaza, Moscow. The event attended by the diplomatic corps, leading travel and tour operators in Moscow, leading businessmen in both tourism and tea trade, leading print and electronic media persons and Sri Lankan Diaspora was well received and appreciated by all present at the ceremonial opening. Addressing the august gathering the Ambassador stressed upon the need to promote tourism of Sri Lanka in Russia and CIS countries as the fifth largest tourist arrivals are from the said countries. Further, he spoke about the diplomatic and cultural relations between the two nations, traditional dancing of Sri Lanka and development of infrastructure in the country. The cultural show of three hours performed by the Dance Guild of maestro Chandana Wickramasinghe enthralled and pleased the audience with many a traditional dancing, drum fusion, mask dancing, drum orchestra and medley of folk songs. The photo exhibition of 120 photos covered the visits of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Republic of Kazakhstan. It also covered major tourist destinations of the country, namely, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Kandy, Sigiriya, Pinnawela and Nuwara Eliya, along with scenic and pristine beaches along both Western and Eastern coasts, Sri Lankan cuisine, traditional dancing and wild life. The event was held at the Crystal Ballroom of the Hotel Lotte Plaza, Moscow which is a one of Moscow’s newest hotels. The Lotte is an Asian export in the heart of the Russian capital’s shopping and financial districts, close to the Kremlin and new business district. Three Michelin Star Chef Pierre Gagnaire, along with a team trained exclusively in Paris, presided over the reception which followed the cultural show. Meanwhile, on 5 July the major events of the promotional campaign were the two workshops conducted in the morning and afternoon respectively at the Chaykovsky hall of the Hotel Radisson Slavyanskaya. In the morning the workshop was conducted with the collaboration of reputed tour operators Paks and Russian Express. This event was attended by approximately 150 representatives in the tourism industry in Russia. In the afternoon, another successful workshop was conducted at the same venue with the collaboration of renowned tour operators Spectrum, Maldiviana and Connaissance. This too was attended by more than 100 representatives.