Tourism Minister presented with copy of first Arabic Travel Guide about Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism, His Excellency John Amaratunga was presented with the latest edition of the only Arabic language travel guidebook on Sri Lanka, by Emirati author and entrepreneur, Ms Heba Al Mansoori. The presentation ceremony took place at the Sri Lankan Pavilion on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market. The Minister was accompanied by Mr. Paddy Withana, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Mr. Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka for Dubai & Northern Emirates, Ms. Ruvini Dias Bandaranaike, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Ms. Desiree Premachandra, Country Manager UAE, SriLankan Airlines Ltd. The guidebook titled - Sri Lanka: The Most Beautiful Island in the World, which was penned by Ms. Al Mansoori, was well received by the Arab-speaking world and the first 20,000 copies were rapidly sold out. The updated version of the guidebook, the first of its kind written with the specific needs of the Arab traveller in mind, is being produced to meet the ever growing demand from travellers eager to visit the beautiful island nation. Through the book, Ms. Al Mansoori, Founder and CEO of leading independent marketing communications agency BIZ COM and broadcast and print media veteran, presents a vivid image of the emerald Isle as a veritable tourist paradise, full of cultural and environmental gems, stunning locales, serene hillsides, captivating coastlines and beautiful beaches. All this in a style that is both understated but engagingly sincere. Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Al Mansoori said: “Interest is reviving in Sri Lanka as an all-round travel destination in the Arab region and we have had constant inquiries at our offices, which is why I thought of launching an updated version of the travel guide.” Ms. Al Mansoori was initially fascinated by tales of Serendib told to her by Sri Lankan members of her household staff. The fascination with the island took root following a visit with her family. “I love travelling and was totally enthralled by my first Sri Lankan experience. I have re-visited the country, discovering more fascinating aspects of on each visit.” The book includes everything you need to know about Sri Lanka from planning your itinerary, bookings, which are the best hotels to stay, ground arrangements, halal food outlets, shopping, places to visit and even maids and nannies as well as facilities for specially challenged individuals. Ms. Al Mansoori’s insights are particularly relevant and valuable for potential travellers and the book met with rave reviews from travel trade icons and journalists alike when it was first launched at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in 2010. Her fun, “tell-it-like-it-is” delivery style, and right on target understanding of what would appeal to the Arab traveller, turns the travel guide into a delightful reading experience that literally takes the reader to the destination so they have the knowledge and tips to explore the locales better. A complete destination, Sri Lanka offers the adventurous-minded a full range of water sports swimming, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, water-skiing and deep sea fishing. Boasting some legendary surfing locales, the serene waters around the island are also favoured for some spectacular diving. Compact in size, the island offers spectacular hill trails and nature trekking possibilities, all within easy driving distance of the capital. Known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers the traveller with an opportunity to sample the wild natural beauty of the country including the scenic waterfalls, spice and tea plantations, bird and wildlife reserves, tropical jungle excursions and the luxurious yet eco-friendly accommodation. The country has beautiful beaches all around.