Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea and Sri Lankan Airlines, hosted a Media FAM Tour for 7 journalists belonging to 6 Media houses, namely BTN TV (Buddhist Television Network) , BBS TV ( Buddhist Broadcasting System ) , Arirang TV , Hyundai Bulgyo Newspaper, Beopeo Newspaper Bulgyo newspaper ) .Overall , the group consisted of 3 TV Channels and 3 Newspaper publications. The Media FAM Tour started from the 30th of March to 4th April 2023. The main purpose of this tour was to focus on the Sri Lankan tourist attractions with special emphasis on Buddhist attractions since there is an increasing interest from the Buddhist population in the Republic of Korea to explore Buddhist sites in overseas destinations, especially in South Asia, mainly considering the emerging market to create awareness of Sri Lanka Tourism among the Korean high –end travelers. The crew was accompanied by SLTPB officials and also Mr.Justin Hong , -Deputy General Manager ,Sri Lankan Airlines , GSA Korea , who facilitated and represented Sri Lankan Airlines on the tour.
The Media crew also focused on the Sri Lankan culture, heritage, cuisine, Wildlife and nature. They travelled to areas such as Galle, Ella , Nuwaraeliya, Kandy , Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Colombo . All these locations were filmed with a few interviews included at some places. Several interviews were done at the Nelligala International Buddhist Center, Dalada Maligawa, Alu Viharaya, Matale, Ruwanweli Maha seya and Sri Maha Bodhi, along with a special interview with Mr.Chalaka Gajabahu , Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau .
Mentioning about the Media houses which were represented on this tour, the group consisted of 3 TV channels, namely BTN (Buddhist Television Network) which is one of the two major Buddhist TV channels operated in South Korea. Being both online and in printed version, and it caters to a viewership of 20 million. It also had BBS TV (Buddhist Broadcasting System)which is a radio channel with a 2 million viewership. The other channel was Arirang TV , directly connected to promoting Buddhism and Culture in Korea. It provides information on Korean current events, Culture, and history to the region around Korea.
The Media was also represented by 3 Newspapers including Hyundai Bulgo, which has a readership of 80,000 each month, published both online and printed formats, Beopeo , another publication which publishes a z4 page newspaper every day, and the Bulgyo newspaper, which is one of the oldest Buddhist newspapers in Korea, published in both print and online every Thursday.
The Korean Media team was immensely mesmerized with the experience which they received by visiting all these Sri Lankan tourist attractions, and savoring the taste of the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine which tantalized their taste buds, while on a Dambulla village tour. One of the locations which attracted them most was the Galle Dutch fort, with its historic and cultural value. They also enjoyed the Galle fort street food, which was During their tour they also had the opportunity of visiting the SLTPB premises and meeting up with the top management there, including Chairman, SLTPB , Mr. Chalaka Gajabahu , and Ms. Padma Siriwardana , Managing Director , SLTPB . They also visited attractions such as Sandathenna moonplace Nuwaraeliya, Heritance Kandalama , Mirissa Coconut hill , and also enjoying a boat safari at Gregory park Nuwaraeliya. All these experiences gave them insight of Sri Lanka’s world renowned hospitality, it’s iconic tourist locations, and also it’s endless travel opportunities. They also engaged in religious observances at the Ruwanweliseya , and Matale Aluviharaya. Since Korea has similar cultural and religious aspects as Sri Lanka, these visits were considered as highly important to these journalists, who were able to gain some valuable information regarding Sri Lanka’s Buddhist values and principles.
Through Media personnel like these who address mass communities, the positive message about Sri Lanka being safe and open to any traveler who wishes to have an interesting and amazing experience will spread and encourage more tourists to visit Sri Lanka, especially from the East Asian countries such as these.