World Duty Free winners enjoy T20 Cricket World Cup final in unique style


Sunday October 2012 was a day that dawned with intense anticipation, as every Sri Lankan began the day with hopes and dreams that their team will become the world champions again, by winning the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2012 final against the West Indies.

Five lucky World Duty Free customers, the grand winners of the ‘Cricket Fever 2012’ mega promotion, which was run by World Duty Free Group in their shops at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), shared the same hopes and dreams.

However, the way they were going to experience the much awaited cricketing encounter was indeed ‘unique and different’.

The ‘First Runner-up Winners’ of the mega promotion and their companions left Colombo on the evening of October 6, via the newly introduced luxury rail service, Expo Rail.

The ‘Champion Winners’ and their companions were flown from Rathmalana air base in a state-of-the art AS350 B3 Air Senok helicopter. As they took to the skies, piloted by Captain Amal Wahid, the clicking of cameras started with great enthusiasm, with unique moments and eye catching views of the memorable day being taken by everyone! The happy faces glued to the helicopter windows, only turned away to enjoy the chilled champagne being served on board!

More than one hour’s thrilling journey ended at the white sandy beaches alongside Hotel Chaaya Blu, in Trincomalee. The friendly hotel staff gave ‘World Duty Free’s’ guests a warm welcome, while the traditional dancers ushered them in to the soothing Chaaya Blu lobby. The guests enjoyed a one night stay (full board), in the Beach Chalets.

The participants were given the opportunity to catch the excitement of the Cricket World Cup final on a giant screen in an exclusive area at Chaaya Blu.

The hall was decorated with Sri Lankan flags and banners and goodwill messages to the Sri Lankan cricketing heroes. Every minute of the T20 World Cup final was enjoyed by the participants, and the experience was made all the more indulgent and enjoyable with the crowd being treated to unlimited food and beverages. The lively ‘Papare’ music added colour and excitement to the already electric atmosphere and the party went on until late, despite the disappointing match-result for Sri Lanka.

Early the following morning, all the winners and their companions were welcomed onboard the South African made luxury catamaran yacht managed by CeySail Cruises (Pvt.) Ltd. The six hour voyage, some of it under full sail, gave participants a great opportunity to watch whales and dolphins.

After completing the two day action-packed unique holiday, the winners who travelled in the helicopter came back to Colombo in a domestic flight, while the winners who went to Trincomalee in the Expo Rail, enjoyed their return journey in the Air Senok helicopter.

Commenting on the promotion, Chaminda Weerathunga, Head of Marketing for World Duty Free Group in Sri Lanka said, "we organized the ‘Cricket Fever 2012’ mega promotion at our duty free shops to add excitement and also to inculcate a sense of patriotism among Sri Lankan passengers during the cricket World Cup. The promotion had relevance not only for Sri Lankans, but also for the wider audience of tourists who visited from other cricketing nations. On top of the grand prize, the promotion gave away more than 1,800 pieces of Sri Lankan cricket merchandise as daily prizes, throughout the two month promotion period."

The promotion continues to run until October 30, at World Duty Free shops and three more lucky winners and their companions will have the chance to enjoy a scenic sea plane ride, yacht excursion and the hospitality of Chaaya Tranz, Hikkaduwa, on November 10 and 11.

World Duty Free is managed by World Duty Free Group, one of the world’s leading airport retailers, which has grown out of Autogrill Group’s acquisition and integration of the Aldeasa, World Duty Free and Alpha Airport Shopping businesses. Today, the company operates 325 stores in 21 countries. It has developed its own commercial concepts, tailored to match the purchasing preferences of travellers passing through the 72 airports in which it operates across four continents.

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