Sri Lanka launches first ever “Murugan Trail” from South India
The Morning: A familiarisation programme for South Indian media groups to promote the “Murugan Trail” in Sri Lanka was organised by the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) recently.
The objective of this programme was to promote the Kataragama Esala Festival, which was held during last month, to tourists from South India. Along with this, other cultural events held during this time, such as the Esala Perahera in Kandy and the Nallur Festival in Jaffna, were also given publicity.
The Kataragama Esala Festival is held annually in July/August at the Kataragama Ancient Temple to pay homage to Lord Murugan. The Kataragama Esala Perehera takes place during the nights of the festive season with traditional dancers, drummers, fire-walkers, elephants, and other rituals. It is known as one of the most elegant and spectacular historical and cultural pageants in Sri Lanka.
For the first time, six renowned media houses in South India, both print and electronic, including The Hindu, Behindwoods, News 07 Tamil, Vikatan, News 18, TV 09, and Madhura Digital Media arrived in Sri Lanka on 3 August for a nine-day visit. The media delegation covered historically and culturally important destinations and events around the country especially Colombo, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy, and Kataragama. The Kataragama Esala festival was broadcasted live by a few of these media houses.
Sri Lanka and India enjoy strong bilateral, cultural and trade ties. The two countries also enjoy a functioning free trade agreement (FTA) that has helped boost trade between the two countries. Also, tourists from India lead Sri Lanka’s list of tourist arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities are engaged in promoting the country’s tourism industry in key foreign sorce markets including India while also exploring new tourism concepts. It is in such a backdrop that Sri Lanka and India are looking at promoting cultural tourism between the two countries. The new Murugan Trail will be added to the Ramayana Trail that is already popular among Indian tourists. Given the growing opportunities in tourism between Sri Lanka and India, Indian businesses/investors, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors could explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the tourism industry. Opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is on an expansion path with a steady growth in the tourist arrivals to the country.
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