The largest post-COVID tourism event Raid Amazones involving 600 participants in two stages kicked off in Sigiriya Sri Lanka yesterday (03/16/2022) reinforcing that Sri Lanka is a safe destination.
Flagging off the adventure event, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that selecting Sri Lanka to hold the Raid Amazones adventure program will send a positive message to the world that Sri Lanka is a safe destination.
600 athletes take part in the Raid Amazones adventure event, the largest tourism event in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic. The first half of the two-stage tournament will be held from 14 to 22 March while the second half will be held from 28 March to 6 April. The tournament will be held in Kaudulla, Medirigiriya, Wewala, Kandalama, Sigiriya and Mahawilgamuwa areas.
The first stage will feature 253 contestants and 63 staff, while the second round will feature 216 contestants, also including 63 staff members. The crew includes six doctors, a rescue crew, rescue swimmers, photographers and videographers.
As a popular annual adventure sports competition that originated in France, the tournament includes running, rowing, mountain biking, mapping and compass-assisted cross-country skiing, and archery. Sri Lankan Airlines is the host airline for this year’s tournament and the theme icon is Sigiriya. A special uniform has been designed especially for this purpose highlighting the unique features of Sigiriya Fort. Sri Lankan Airlines has decorated a special aircraft to bring foreign athletes to Sri Lanka to participate in the tournament.
‘’Selecting Sri Lanka for this program sends a message to the world that Sri Lanka is a safe destination for tourists. Such programs as these provide an opportunity to attract a global audience to Sri Lanka and to attract tourists to Sri Lanka from Europe and beyond,” Minister Ranatunga said.
He said certain issues in the country have affected the tourism industry. However, necessary steps have already been taken to resolve these issues and restore the country back to normal. Therefore, it will not affect the tourism industry. It has been decided to give priority to refuelling vehicles used for tourist transportation. There are requests to remove tourist zones from power cuts. The Government has already resorted to such measures.
“We recently went on an overseas tour of France. At that time Sri Lankan Airlines joined hands with us to take this tournament to Sri Lanka. The selection of athletes for this competition is done through a program. During that program there was a lot of publicity about Sri Lanka. If we did such a promotion it would cost a lot of money. We also get revenue because they chose Sri Lankan Airlines. It’s a tournament consisting of females. In a few days their families will come to this country with their families,” the Minister said.
“Due to the war situation in Russia and Ukraine, our focus is on attracting tourists from the Middle East and India to Sri Lanka in the future. We also look forward to organising promotional programs in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada,’’ Ranatunga added.