The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), in an effort to market the traditional Sri Lankan cultural parades and festivals to the world, as part of the events tourism initiatives this year, made arrangements for the winner of Ms.Tourism Sri Lanka International 2016 - Vera Branda Dukstra from Netherlands - to experience the Colombo Navam Perahera conducted by the Gangaramaya Temple, which took place on February 21 and 22.
Many tourists from all over the world visit Sri Lanka to witness cultural and religious parades each month, due to their unique traditional dances, costumes, instruments and music, providing an important glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich culture and heritage. The Navam Perahera is a celebration of sights, sounds, colours and music with numerous historical, cultural and traditional aspects featured during this elegant religious cultural parade.
Dijkstra will be a brand ambassador for Sri Lanka Tourism for a period of one year assisting with many tourism promotional campaigns around the world, especially trade and consumer promotions and advertising campaigns geared towards the Netherlands and Western European countries to drive upscale tourism to Sri Lanka.
The Netherlands has become a growing source market for Sri Lanka Tourism having seen a cumulative growth of 35.3 percent for the year 2015 in tourist arrivals. The Dutch traveller is considered a high spender and is expected to spend over 15 billion euros overseas while traveling.
Sri Lanka Tourism participated in the largest travel fair in the Dutch market - Vakantiebeurs 2016 - held in Utrecht from January 12 – 17, with tourism industry members, to further promote the island as a desirable destination to this source market targeting over 42,000 arrivals for this year.
“This pageant and the win by Miss. Netherlands come at an ideal time when a number of activities such as road show events and advertising are planned in the region where Dijkstra will be able to share first-hand experience of Sri Lanka and further promote the endless possibilities available to a traveller,” said SLTPB Managing Director Ruvini Bandaranayake.
Dijkstra, fascinated by the Navam Perahara, said, “It is a life-changing experience to be in a country like this and seeing the elephants and the amazing traditional dancers doing such a wonderful job made me fall in love with Sri Lanka even more than I thought I could ever love a country. I am so happy to be part of Sri Lanka’s tourism initiatives and I think everyone should experience such a rich and vibrant cultural event at least once in his or her lifetime.”