Sri Lanka the “Wonder of Asia” at New York Times Travel Show

Sri Lanka Tourism and SriLankan Airlines have taken part in North America’s premier travel event “The New York Times Travel Show” held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in New York City from February 25-27, 2011.

The show attracted over 16,000 travel professionals and enthusiasts as well as over 600 exhibitors representing more than 150 countries. This year the event is expected to draw over 40,000 highly coveted consumers and 7,000 trade professionals. Sri Lanka Tourism and SriLankan Airlines have consistently participated at the show since its inauguration.

Sri Lanka’s participation at the The New York Times Travel Show also included a cultural presentation of flair. The world renowned Sri Lankan Dance troupe, “Channa-Upuli,” flown in courtesy of SriLankan Airlines performed on Saturday and Sunday at the Asia Stage which is one of six cultural pavilions at the show featuring live performances and culinary presentations from around the world.

The highly rated American News Channel (NY 1) featured a live performance “Making of the Lion dance” by the Channa-Upuli Dance Troupe.

Travel to Sri Lanka has increased dramatically in the past year, up 50 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. The increase is credited to the successful conclusion of Sri Lanka’s conflict against terrorism in May 2009, and a series of favourable travel articles praising Sri Lanka as a premiere destination. Publications giving Sri Lanka top travel rankings include The New York Times, National Geographic Traveller, and the websites Daily Candy and Lonely Planet.

While about 650,000 tourists arrived in 2010 (compared to less than 500,000 in 2009), Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority predicts 2.5 million visitors by 2016.

(Pictures by Sagara Lakmal De Mel)

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