Sri Lanka Tourism braved the threat of MERS together with 15 tourism professionals from the private sector to attend to one of the leading global travel fairs in Asia Pacific KOTFA that was staged in Seoul, South Korea. With 52 countries competing entrenched for the converted award Sri Lanka Tourism did the country proud by winning the top award “ Best Tourism Publicity Award -2015” which attracted 66,516 visitors in the 2015 edition.

The Chairman Sri Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala commented it’s an award for the 15 Sri Lankan’s who braved the MERS virus to promote the country above self, which is a rare honour. We have seen the industry doing same in the last 25 years during the war and must be commended.

The Korean national couple dressed in traditional Sri Lankan wedding dresses was an eye catching attraction at the Sri Lanka Pavilion that also served the single origin Ceylon Tea from the tea garden of the world – Nuwara-Eliya that won the hearts of a typical South Korean potential traveller. Athukorala went on it say that once a Global Advertising agency comes to play we can embark on brand imagery development activity which is more important for a typical destination marketing task than just the “ Sales Push” we do at trade fairs.

Sri Lanka Tourism has won many accolades in the last four months that included ITB in Berlin, OTM in India and many a awards in China. Overall numbers are at a commanding 14.5% growth at 714,584 as at May 2015 with overall tourism receipts crossing the $1billion dollar mark as per Central Bank Data. The overall momentum in the leisure sector was strong at 4.1 billion rupees in FDI that was signed as per the release of the BOI.