"Sancharaka Udawa" : Tourism SMEs get equal opportunities on a level playing field - Nanayakkara

"Angampora" promoted as a form entertainment to tourists


By Harischandra Gunaratna

President of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLITO) Nilmin Nanayakkara yesterday declared on the eve of the "Sancharaka Udawa2012" (Meet Mart) that the event was a platform which provide equal opportunities to all players in the travel and hospitality industry as well as those who were indirectly involved with tourism such as craftsmen, artistes etc and noted that SLAITO was quite happy that the Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (SMET) were doing extremely well after experiencing a lean period.

"The tropical island has so much to offer to the world with diversity and to harness that all that there is a need to establish a common meeting ground where all players could meet in one place and promote their products however small or big they are," Nanayakkara said.

Speaking to "The Island Financial Review", he noted that this year 180 stalls had been sold against the 105 last year and key people in the industry would be visiting the event and it provided an opportunity for participants to meet them and seek their expertise where their businesses are concerned, he said.

Those who participated at last year’s "Sancharaka Udawa" said that it helped them gain more businesses via new contacts on a level playing field while it opened avenues for them to exchange ideas and also to step on to joint ventures , he Pointed out.

"Thirty percent of the participants are repeaters and they are of the opinion that participation in such an event such as "Sancharaka Udawa" provides immense opportunities to stay ahead in the industry," The SLAITO President said.

The event will be held at the Hotel Ceylon Continental commencing at 11.00 a.m today and the finale of the event will be an exhibition of "Angampora" fighting, a form of ancient Sri Lankan martial arts centuries old at 7.30 p.m.

"We want to introduce Angampora as a form of entertainment to tourists and plans are afoot to introduce Angampora to the itineraries of many major tourists events in the country in the future," he added.

History records that Angampora in the country was banned by the British in 1818 during the Uva-Wellassa uprising since they couldn’t control the rioters and they burnt the training centres where the martial art was taught.

The Portugese also faced a lot of resistance in Mulleriyawa, fighting the native forces who were experts in Angampora, in 1562 during the reign of King Seetahawaka Rajasinghe, records said.

Following the completion of the "Sancharaka Udawa" proper a carnival atmosphere would prevail in the open air at the country’s first five star hotel which is now known as Ceylon Continental with entertainment, food and drink stalls and music, the President said adding that the event was open to the public.

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