A group of Indian media personnel including journalists, bloggers and influencers arrived in Colombo on 15the November, in order to develop bilateral connections and show support as a good neighbor to promote Sri Lanka and help it maintain 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 to learn about the similar cultural and natural heritage in both countries, historical sites and numerous travel opportunities.
Subsequently, a media team of 17 journalists, bloggers and influencers participated in this tour as they represented major media outlets such as “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 team was divided into 3 groups to cover Heritage, Southern Coast and Adventure. This was the first time that a media delegation had been made to report on separate sections on a tour and to promote tourism in a more progressive way.
Reporting on the heritage, they visited places like 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 on the beaches of Kandy and Negombo. They were in awe of the magic and splendor it had to offer, and the proud heritage that has been preserved for many years.
The group that covered the southern belt of Sri Lanka and had the opportunity to cover Yala National Park, Hambantota, Galle and Mirissa. They also had the chance to get involved in activities including visiting Kanneliya Rainforest, Lunugaga Estate, Dutch Fort – Galle and Whale Watching in Mirissa. The Lunugaga estate held a special place as it was the country house of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Along the way, the media team visited Kande Vihara, where the 160-foot-tall Buddha statue is believed to be one of the tallest in the world. Another attraction was the whale and dolphin watching experience in Mirissa, where they were able to see various species of whales and dolphins performing stunts in the warm Indian Ocean.
The third group went on an adventure tour while covering areas including places like 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 center for those who are interested in hiking, camping and bird watching, and enjoying nature wherever they are. you can see a spectacular view of the city of Kandy from the highest peak. All of these specific locations offered enough and more content for the media group to deliver through their respective media houses. Departed early in the morning for the Horton Plains, the only national park located in the Hill Country, which is the highest and most isolated plateau in Sri Lanka at an elevation of over 2000 meters located in the Nuwara Eliya district. After an overnight walk in the city of Nuwara Eliya, they headed to Ella by train and finally to Bentota, where the Tour concluded.
Thus, the Indian Media delegation had a memorable experience 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 to Indian tourists and encourage more Indian tourists to come 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 again demonstrating its support as a good neighbor.