Sri Lanka or Ceylon is an enchanting tropical island in the Indian Ocean with golden, sandy beaches, exotic wildlife, rolling hills, tea plantations, colonial towns and friendly people. The traditional greeting, Ayu Bowan – “wishing you a long life” – is testament to this. But did you know that Sri Lanka also is a perfect MICE destination? We will give you 8 reasons why:
1. Heritage and history
Some of Asia’s oldest legends are set here and the island has a long history of contact with foreign merchants and powers. Buddhist, Tamil, Roman, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences can all be found in Sri Lanka’s culture. In addition the Ancient Cities are a fascinating region, full of archaeology, history and natural beauty. Do not miss out on the largest festival of the country Kandy Perahera, that takes place around the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth.
2. Small size: all in one
One of the best things about Sri Lanka as a MICE destination is its small size. Why not spending the morning in the hills watching the tea pickers, go to an ancient Buddhist temple in the afternoon and enjoy your evening eating seafood at the beach? Although Sri Lanka is not that big, landscape varies enormously; from dense jungles to empty golden beaches; from monasteries and temples to cool, misty mountains dotted with the bright saris of pickers.
Colombo is the economic and political capital of Sri Lanka. A big and vibrant city. Do not forget to visit the Fort, Cinnamon Gardens and Pettah (an old and historically interesting district).
4. Beach life
Sri Lanka is famous for its idyllic beaches. They stretch from the eastern coast all the way around to the west near Colombo. You will find there accommodations that vary from intimate boutiques to luxurious resorts on private beaches and larger hotels in more vivid places.
You cannot imagine Sri Lanka without her elephants. The Millenium Elephant Foundation and Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage (close to Kandy) give you the opportunity to visit young, elderly and sick elephants but also to wash them yourselves. Not to be missed.
6. National Parks and wildlife
The best places to enjoy the abundant wildlife of Sri Lanka are Uda Walawe, Yala, and Minneriya National Park. Enjoy an exciting jeep safari and take a close look to wild elephants and crocodiles. If you are lucky you can even spot the illusive leopard here.
7. Tea Plantations
Sri Lanka rises up from the coast to the hills. The landscape is marked with tea bushes, and interlaced with streams and waterfalls. The lush character and cool climate seem to be a perfect combination for tea. Did you know that Sri Lanka has long been a pilgrimage destination for tea planters and tea lovers looking for their perfect cup of tea?
8. Air connectivity, hotels and venues
Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo is well connected. It has direct flights from major European, Indian cities and a convenient destination for onward flights to Maldives. With-in Sri Lanka, there are many domestic flights that covers all major destinations. The train connectivity though limited, can be a good option in certain areas. Sri Lanka has a varied range of accommodation options to offer right from Budget 3* to Deluxe 5*. In past few years numerous new hotels opened their doors in Sri Lanka: from tea planters’ bungalows and private beach villas to small boutique hotels. Many historical buildings including gentlemen’s clubs and private homes take in guests. In addition you will find a number of distinctive, elegant hotels and beach villas designed by the country’s most famous architect Geoffrey Bawa.