Three week long Sri Lanka Tourism road show kicks-off in St. Petersburg

* Moscow, Kiev next


The three week long "Mega Tourism Road Show in Russia & Ukraine" commenced its first phase on17 March in the historical city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. This mammoth task of organizing a three week long tourism campaign in three major cities of Russia and Ukraine would not have been a reality, if not for the persevering and untiring efforts of Udayanga Weeratunga, the Ambassador of Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation. His vast experience and hard earned knowledge on the tourism industry were the main attributes, which opened the portals for a mega road show of this magnitude.

The road show was declared opened at the Mega Dybenko shopping mall by the Ambassador in the presence of representatives of the SLTPB, Head of the International Desk of the Saint Petersburg City Administration and Managing Director of Mega Dybenko. Speaking to the audience the Ambassador stressed upon the need to promote tourism of Sri Lanka in Russia and CIS countries as the fifth largest tourist arrivals are from the said countries. He also stated that the very reason to commence the "Mega Tourism Road Show" at this shopping mall is that, during the visit of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapksa to Saint Petersburg in 2011, the President of Sri Lanka having visited the Mega Dybenko and been impressed, promised the management that Sri Lanka would hold a Tourism Promotional Campaign in 2012 or in the very near future, at this venue.

Saint Petersburg is a city visited by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka in June, 2011in connection with the participation at the 15thSt. Petersburg International Economic Forum. It is the second largest city of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, is often described as the most westernized city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. In 1914 the name was of the city was changed to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg.Saint Petersburg was founded by the TsarPeter the Great on May 27, 1703. Saint Petersburg is also home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world.

Mega Dybenkois a unique development project in Russia by IKEA Group; it is a conceptual family trade and entertainment centre, one of the largest in Saint Petersburg. MEGA complex combines more than 250 stores and anchor tenants been the; IKEA, Auchan Hypermarket, "Everything for House and Garden" of the OBI retail chain, electronic and household appliance stores. Guests’ turnover of approximately 19000 during week days and 56000 during weekends to MEGA complex can enjoy comfortable food courts, playgrounds for kids and a skating rink.

One of the major participants of the campaign is the State owned Gift and Souvenir Boutique "Laksala" which was established under the National Skills Act of 1982. This renowned Gift and Souvenir Boutique operates through ten branches located island wide and offer the widest variety of all Sri Lankan products at a reasonable price. Most importantly, Laksala enables the numerous industries that supply goods to it to stay both profitable and in business.

During the shopping mall activation; Sri Lankan traditional dancing performances, distribution of leaflets/souvenirs, tourism promotional videos and liquid Ceylon tea service were successfully carried out. This initial event of the campaign could be termed as a successful starter where it managed gather the attention of the bulk of the visitors.

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