Cinnamon Treasure Hunt 2015, a mega familiarization tour for French travel agents intended to promote Sri Lanka as a preferred destination for French travellers, organized by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts together with SriLankan Airlines and Walkers Tours concluded on Thursday.
French travelers are amongst the top five markets for tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. The five-day Cinnamon Treasure Hunt was designed to equip the carefully selected group of leading French travel agents with a more informed understanding of the country’s offerings and build a lasting impression, the organizers said. The tour kicked off with a group of 63 French travel agents taking up challenges in Polonnaruwa and Minneriya. The group performed the entire Pollonnaruwa segment on bicycle, following the clues of the hunt and gaining a deeper appreciation for Sri Lankan heritage in the process. The adventure continued at the Minneriya Wildlife Sanctuary, where in a convoy of 21 4x4s, each competed for a shot at the prize by looking to capture a winning wildlife photograph.
The program has partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) during the East Coast leg. The travel agents were hosted at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon while they visited key locations in the area following an eventful tour of Polonnaruwa, Minneriya and Sigiriya. During their stay in Trincomalee, a crucial networking opportunity was created via a one on one ‘speed dating’ workshop held in Batticaloa on 13 October for 80 service providers from the region.The local stakeholders including hoteliers from the SME sector were afforded the opportunity to showcase their products to the highly relevant audience and make valuable direct business contacts for the first time on home soil. The travel agents were privy to a detailed presentation highlighting the tourism activities in the East.
Concluding the eventful tour of Sri Lanka, the group was felicitated at Cinnamon Bey, Beruwala on 14 October. A gala dinner and awards ceremony, where the top performers were recognized, marked the end of another successful installment of the annual event.
On their last day of exploration, the group visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, participated in a ‘tuk tuk’ challenge and took on a train challenge, whilst being introduced to key words in the Sinhala language. The winning three teams awarded were ‘Team Muwa’, ‘Team UURA’ and ‘Team Naya’ respectively, with Gwenaelle Laignon, Catherine Blotiere and Soizic Entwistle David of Team Naya taking first place. Amongst the prizes were six return tickets to Sri Lanka from France courtesy of SriLankan Airlines as well as a five night stay at a Cinnamon Resort.