Presentation of the first copy of ‘Refreshingly Sri Lanka’ by Dr. Godahewa to the Chief Guest, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa in the presence of other distinguished guests who attended the event (Pic by: Kushan Pathiraja)
Sri Lanka’s first coffee table book on tourism, authored by former Tourism Chief and present Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Nalaka Godahewa, was launched yesterday in a colourful ceremony attended by government ministers, ministry secretaries, hoteliers and key private sector officials.
The book aptly named as ‘Refreshingly Sri Lanka’ is bedecked by the mesmerizing photography of Dilum Alagiyawanna.
The high quality coffee table book -Refreshingly Sri Lanka- with 250 pages carries over 160 exclusive photographs supporting a comprehensive text of over 30,000 words, describing almost every key tourism attraction in the country.
The book covers the eight product categories of Sri Lanka tourism namely beaches, wildlife, heritage, Ayurveda, sports, scenic beauty, festivals and essence. It is a must read for travelerreaders to understand why Sri Lanka was rated as the most beautiful island in the whole world by the famous 13th century explorer Marco Polo.
The book forwarded by Dr. Taleb Rifai, the Director General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is artistically illustrated by Dilum Alagiyawanna, one of the Canon Brand Ambassadors, who works as a strategic partner for Canon Singapore in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
“Dr. Godahewa oversaw the emergence of Sri Lankan tourism from a three-decade-old war into an era of promise and optimism. Under his stewardship, arrivals to Sri Lanka almost doubled in three years,” says Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO in his foreword to the book. He concluded with the note, “Refreshingly Sri Lanka is a fine repository of the best of Lanka’s attractions and activities covering the various facets of Sri Lanka.”
Hiran Coorey, former Chairman of the PATA - Pacific Asia Travel Association and currently the Chairman of Jetwing group delivering the keynote address at the event pointed out that ‘Refreshingly Sri Lanka’ coffee table book fulfills a long felt need to clearly communicate Sri Lanka’s tourism value proposition to the rest of the world. “We all know why Sri Lanka is special as a tourism destination. But very few have explained it as clearly as Dr. Godahewa and Dilum,” said Cooray.
The publication of this high quality coffee table book has been sponsored by Canon Singapore and Metropolitan Group of Sri Lanka. Together, Canon and Metropolitan have supported many initiatives ranging from promoting sustainable tourism, culture and heritage to protecting wildlife, fauna and flora. Such initiatives include the support to the world heritage Kandy Esala Perehera.
“Canon Singapore Private Limited and Metropolitan Office (Pvt.) Ltd. feel hugely privileged to sponsor this book in partnership with its renowned author and photographers. We are proud that Dilum Alagiyawanna has chosen Canon equipment to shoot all the images of this wonderful book Refreshingly Sri Lanka,” said Wrixon Wang — Senior Manager from Canon Singapore.