Commending the considerable role played by Sri Lanka Missions overseas in the field of promoting Tourism, the Sri Lanka Tourism took steps to create a new category of tourism awards for Sri Lanka Missions in promoting Tourism for the year 2011, among its newly introduced 21 award categories.
Accordingly, the Sri Lankan Embassies in Russia, China and USA awarded the first, second and third places consecutively for excellence in tourism promotions at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2011 at Waters Edge, Battaramulla on 30 August. Representing the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation Udayanga Weerathunga received the award from Deputy Minister of Economic Development Laksman Yapa Abeywardana while the awards on behalf of Sri Lankan Embassies in Beijing and Washington were received by the representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs. Director General-Asia/Pacific Shobini Gunasekara received the award on behalf of the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Peoples Republic of China and W.M Dharmapala, Director/West Division of the External Affairs Ministry received the award on behalf of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington.
Since tourism is a key sector of the economy of the island at present, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau highly expects to obtain the cooperation of all Sri Lankan Foreign Missions Abroad for tourism promotional activities in future.
The number of tourist arrivals in 2011 exceeded 800,000, which was beyond expected figures.
The promotional campaigns executed by the SLTPB were the real force behind attaining this goal. Signifying a promising and consistent industry, the first seven months of 2012 already witnessed arrival over 500,000 tourists.