High Commission of Sri Lanka in London in partnership the Sri Lanka Tourist Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Tea Board, National Craft Council, Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL), Basilur Tea UK, International Institute of Health Sciences (IIHS) and the Sri Lankan Society in Bedfordshire, organised a trade and tourism promotional event at the award winning ‘Bedford River Festival’ on 23 and 24 July 2022.
The event provided the opportunity to promote Sri Lanka among the Bedford community as their next holiday destination by featuring Sri Lankan crafts, tourism, culture and heritage, and Ceylon Tea.
Wide publicity for “Sri Lanka Tourism” was arranged by displaying “So Sri Lanka” banners, and distributing brochures, souvenirs and maps. The High Commission staff promoted the range of opportunities that Sri Lanka offers to the UK tourists interested in leisure, cuisine, culture, wildlife, sports and business.
In an attempt to promote and support Sri Lankan crafts internationally, a range of “Lak Shilpa” brand handicrafts of the National Craft Council were sold at the stall. The “Ceylon Tea” tasting and quiz session was a highlight at the River Festival.
To showcase Sri Lankan culture and heritage, a dance performance was organised on 24 July 2022 at the stall and in the sports arena community stage where sports and fun activities are featured. The spectacular performance of Kandyan and Low Country dances including ‘Thelme’, ‘Naaga Raksha and Gurulu Raksha’ was well received by the audience.
Sri Lanka stall was located in the Mill Meadows area, which was the hub for activities, trade stalls galore and the ever-popular community stage showcasing performances of Bedfordshire community.
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom Saroja Sirisena and Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson graced the event.
‘Bedford River Festival’ organised by the Council of Bedford Borough is an annual summer festival with a multitude of events and attractions including sports and river activities, raft and dragon boat races, live music and performances, funfair, food and market stalls. This year, the event attracted over 250,000 visitors.