Declared the best value tourism destination in 2013 by Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka received its first-ever tourism coffee table book titled 'Refreshingly Sri Lanka', authored by Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, former Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism.
The high quality coffee table book, 'Refreshingly Sri Lanka', with 250 pages carries over 160 exclusive photographs, supported by comprehensive text of over 30,000 words describing almost every key tourism attraction in the country.
The book covers the eight product categories of Sri Lanka tourism, namely beaches, wildlife, heritage, ayurveda, sports, scenic beauty, festivals and essence. A must read for travelers to understand why Sri Lanka was called the most beautiful island in the world by famous the 13th century explorer Marco Polo.
The book was launched at Hilton Colombo last night in the midst of a distinguished gathering which included Government ministers, key officials and key corporate executives from both the private and public sectors. Chief Guest was Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa whilst Deputy Construction Minister Alagiyawanna, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Central Bank Governor NIvard Cabraal, Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Bashwara Gunawardena, and cream of private sector were among those present.
The book includes a foreword by Dr. Taleb Rifai, Director General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and is artistically illustrated by Dilum Alagiyawanna, a Canon brand ambassador who works as a strategic partner for Canon Singapore in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
A few invited photographers also have contributed towards this unique collection of images that have been published for the first time in Sri Lanka, taking the reader on a spectacular visual journey through this many-splendored island.
"Dr. Godahewa oversaw the emergence of Sri Lankan tourism from a three decade old war into an era of promises and optimism. Under his stewardship, arrivals into Sri Lanka have almost doubled in three years," says Dr. Taleb Rifai, in his foreword to the book and has concluded with the note: "Refreshingly Sri Lanka is a fine repository of the best of Lanka's attractions and activities covering the various facets of Sri Lanka."
Hiran Cooray, former Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the current Chairman of Jetwing Group, while delivering the keynote address at the event, stated, "The 'Refreshingly Sri Lanka' coffee table book fulfills a long-felt need to clearly communicate Sri Lanka's tourism value proposition to the rest of the world. We all know why Sri Lanka is special as a tourism destination but very few have explained it as clearly as Dr. Godahewa and Dilum."
The publication of this high quality coffee table book was sponsored by Canon Singapore and the Metropolitan Group of Sri Lanka. Together, Canon and Metropolitan have supported many initiatives ranging from promoting sustainable tourism, culture and heritage to protecting wildlife, fauna and flora. Such initiatives include their support to the Kandy Esala Perehera.
"Canon Singapore Private Limited and Metropolitan Office (Pvt.) Ltd. feel hugely privileged to sponsor this book in partnership with its renowned author and photographers. We are proud that Dilum Alagiyawanna has chosen Canon equipment to shoot all the images for this wonderful book 'Refreshingly Sri Lanka,'" said Wrixon Wong – Senior Manager for Canon Singapore.