The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Israel and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in collaboration with the Hotel Sheraton Tel Aviv organized the first ever authentic Sri Lankan culinary festival in Israel from 07th to 18th May 2017.

The event was successfully inaugurated on 07th May 2017 at the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel amidst a gathering of the members of the Diplomatic Corps, food bloggers, Israeli dignitaries, media representatives etc. The Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo sent two guest chefs who prepare the delicious Sri Lankan food during the festival.

The purpose of the food festival was to project the taste of Sri Lankan fine cuisine to the Israeli people and thereby promote tourism from Israel to Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Selvaraj Periyasamy Pillai welcomed the dignitaries and briefed the audience about the beauty of Sri Lanka, its diverse nature and the central feature of Sri Lankan cuisines. In his speech, he said that the diverse Sri Lanka food culture is one of the main features which reflects the cultural harmony and vibrancy of Sri Lanka. He further elaborated on the ancient historical roots of Sri Lanka, its rich culture and other aspects which make Sri Lanka so unique and a satisfying holiday destination. He also noted that the Israeli tourism is a thriving market and the number of Israeli tourists visiting Sri Lanka had increased by 34 % in 2016 compared to the previous year.

Mr. Chaminda Munasinghe, Junior Manager (Public Relations Division) of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau highlighted the importance of the culinary tourism promotion and screened a short documentary on Sri Lanka and the tourists’ attraction sites.

The hotel lobby was attractively decorated with the Sri Lankan National flags, Sri Lankan maps. The Olive restaurant in the hotel was also decorated with the Sri Lankan pictures, handicraft items, tourism and cultural artifacts depicting the beauty of Sri Lanka, its diversity and heritage which was highly fascinating.

Ambassador Selvaraj thanked the unstinted support extended by the management of the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel, especially Mr. Patrick Mudalege, Executive Assistant Manager, Ms. Jane Yacoubzadi, Public Relations Manager, Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau and the management of the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo for organizing this successful event. He further appreciated the contribution of Mr. Illeperuma Arachchige Don Kamal Surendrajith, Executive Sous Chef and Mr. Madasami Iyadurai, Junior Sous Chef of the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo for their dedicated work to prepare the Sri Lankan authentic food.

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