30th September 2009, www.news.lk
The World Tourism Day was celebrated on 27 September 2009 with a host of activities at the Mt. Lavinia Beach and the Marine Drive, Bambalapitiya.
The inaugural ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Tourism, Nandana Gunatillake with the participation of industry stakeholders including hoteliers, officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Sri Lanka Tourism, as well as tourists visiting the country.
With focus on the environment, a tree planting campaign and the handing over of a garbage truck was held to commemorate the occasion. Children participated in a competition painting facades of walls depicting locations of tourist interest. A kite competition also brought colour to the event.
A significant item on the day’s celebrations was the launch of the tourist friendly 3-wheelers, an initiative of Sri Lanka Tourism to introduce metered three wheel taxies with specified standards for the benefit of foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Titled “Tourist Friendly Tuk Tuk”, and decorated with traditional stylized paintings depicting the country’s various tourist attractions, with the traditional motif of liyaval bordering the paintings, 50 of these 3-wheelers were introduced to the Colombo area with plans to extend this facility to other areas of the country.
The Ministry of Tourism, along with Sri Lanka Tourism, under the guidance of the Minister of Tourism, Nandana Gunatillake has initiated a Tourism Week that will be celebrated from 27 September to 3 October 2009, in many areas in the country.
Furthermore, essay, art, and poster competitions are also being held for school children, as well as awareness campaigns to inculcate tourist as well as environmentally friendly ideas among the future generation.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Tourism, Nandana Gunatillake, said, “We have initiated a tourism week for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka Tourism, to facilitate travel within the country for both local and foreign tourists alike, to develop specific tourism locations, and to ensure that all sectors of the public economically benefit from the tourism industry.”
We are fortunate to receive the support of Provincial Councils, government institutions, school children, and many other rural organizations in organizing the tourism week, successfully, the minister further added.
A cultural show with low country dance performances was held at the Panadura Beach Park last evening, as well as a beach cleaning campaign this morning, at the same venue.
A cultural show on a floating stage on Kandy Lake was held last evening and a repeat performance is scheduled for this evening at the same venue. Cleaning programmes and an exhibition of souvenirs are also scheduled to be held throughout the day today, in Kandy. More events are scheduled to take place in Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Pasikuda, Beruwala, Mahiyanganaya, Sigiriya, Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, and Weligama.