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Sri Lanka Tourism participates at the 2012 New York Times Travel Show

New York (March 20, 2012)

Sri Lanka Tourism and SriLankan Airlines took part at “The New York Times Travel Show”, North America`s Premier Travel Show,  which was held at the prestigious Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in New York City from March 2 - 4, 2012.

The Sri Lanka Tourism booth was officially opened on Friday, March 2, by H.E. Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, H.E. Dr. Palitha Kohona Sri Lanka`s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Major General Shavendra Silva, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Mr. Dillan Ariyawansa, Head of SriLankan Airlines GSA in North America and Honorary Director for Sri Lanka Tourism in the USA along with distinguished guests.

Tour Operators and Hoteliers  from Sri Lanka  participated at the Sri Lanka Tourism booth, namely Varini De Silva of Ceylon Express International, Dular Niyangoda of  Newxplorer.com, Raju Arasaratnam of Jetwing Travels, L.S.R. Dharmapala of Lanka Sportreizen,  Jan Van Twest of The Fortress Resort & Spa, Afghar Mohideen and Gayangi Wirasinha  of United Holidays and Rajitha Rajapakse of Walkers Tours.

Sri Lanka’s participation at the Show also included cultural presentations. The world renowned Sri Lankan Dance troupe, “Channa-Upuli,” flown in courtesy SriLankan Airlines performed on Saturday, March 3 from 1.15 - 1.30pm and 4.15 - 4.30pm followed by additional performances on Sunday, March 4 from 12.15 - 12.30pm and 2.15 - 2.30pm on the Asia Stage which was one of five cultural stages at the Show featuring live performances and culinary presentations from around the world.

Another main attraction at the booth was the life-sized elephant made out of fiber, flown all the way from Colombo to New York in one piece just for the Show!

Visitors to the Sri Lanka Tourism booth  also had the opportunity to sign up for a  “show only raffle” for two complimentary return air tickets to Colombo from New York courtesy of  SriLankan Airlines inclusive of a 3 night/4 day tour package of Sri Lanka. The booth was always busy and over 4000 signed up for the raffle draw which took place on the last day of the Show.

American Cable Channels publicized the Show over the weekend of March 3 - 4 featuring the Sri Lanka Tourism booth amongst others.

This year’s Show welcomed a total of 20,860 travelers and industry professionals to a jam-packed three days of travel sales and education. The trade attendance throughout the three days was the highest ever with 6,334 industry professionals attending the Travel Industry Conference & Expo on Friday and throughout the weekend. Sri Lanka`s participation at the Show proved to be a success with many American Tour Operators, Travel Writers and Tourists from all over the U.S. showing a great deal of interest in visiting Sri Lanka.

Photography by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.

NY Times Travel Show Group Photo

NY Times Travel Show Varini De Silva lighting oil lamp

NY Times Travel Show Asia Stage Dance

NY Times Travel Show Dancers and Elephant

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