Sri Lanka Tourism, as one of its initiatives to promote the island destination on social media and virtual platforms shared engaging content of its many attractions and resources turning the pandemic to an opportunity. As result of this effort, Sri Lanka Tourism was able to participate on a destination promotional programme on Nile TV international, with the continuous effort and guidance of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, to make this become a successful reality. The purpose of this collaboration was to encourage Mediterranean travelers to engage with ‘’brand ‘’ Sri Lanka virtually , and have a positive experience that would keep Sri Lanka as their ‘’must travel’’ destination once it’s borders are open for visitors. The programme included an exclusive interview which was hosted by Ms. Taghreed Hussein, in which Ms. Kimarli Fernando; Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism participated as the special guest on the 9th of November 2020.
Ms. Taghreed Hussein is the President of Nile TV International in Egypt, which is a leading media channel both in Egypt and worldwide established in 1994. Nile TV, which is located in Cairo,Egypt, is a global network which gives international coverage and broadcast its services in Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the US. It is a public channel of an informative nature, presenting a diversity of programmes in the fields of Politics, Economics, Culture, Tourism, and Sports etc.
The initiative of airing a destination promotional programme on live TV was taken after expressing a keen interest on the virtual tour titled ‘’Go on a couch safari ‘’ showcasing Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Thus, having Nile TV to host a destination programme on Sri Lanka will have an exclusive opportunity to promote the paradise island as one of the top holiday destinations in the world, connecting globally through this international Media channel. The programme also gives coverage to virtual tours, to showcase the specific tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. The interview carried important information regarding the destination and also topics such as tourist attractions and the live streaming program objectives,
During the interview ,Ms. Kimarli Fernando reiterated that Sri Lanka being a compact island which has everything on offer would specially on post COVID scenario be focusing more on nature based tourism,where tourists will be able to do camping, trekking, hiking , biking etc, and also focus on the wellness tourism including Ayurveda. She also revealed that after successful live streaming from the National Wild life Parks the next tourism product planned for such streaming would be Whale and Dolphin watching which is expected to create great interest among potential travelers.
During her interview, she highlighted the MICE as a potential segment to promote despite the COVID situation and foreign investments are still coming for tourism in Sri Lanka and some foreign projects are still continuing.
Mentioning about the relations between the two countries, the chairperson mentioned that Egypt Airlines has already started the operations of cargo flights to Sri Lanka which will eventually lead to start regular flights in time to come. She said that Sri Lanka Tourism would be looking forward to work closely with the government of Egypt specially with Egypt Tourism Board and Sri Lanka mission to welcome travelers from the Mediterranean destination.
Nile TV also showed some excerpts of the couch safari, exploring Sri Lanka’s unique wildlife, throughout the interview. This promotion with Nile TV will generate immense publicity for Sri Lanka in order to attract many tourists from the Mediterranean region.