Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts are preparing to host the 23 pageant finalists of the Miss. Universe China pageant on a tour of Sri Lanka, flown courtesy of SriLankan airlines. The tour will be a part of the pageant’s official agenda, following regional selections that will culminate in the Grand Finale of the Miss Universe China crowning pageant, scheduled to be held on the 13th of September in Shanghai. The contingent will be visiting Sri Lanka from the 26th of August to the 1st of September 2014.
The sheer scale and the significant growth of Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka within the last two years has made China the second largest source market for the country. From 55,000 arrivals recorded last year, the number has already exceeded 100,000 to date this year, and is expected to grow further by end 2014. In addition to the increase in tourist traffic, it has also been noted that the Chinese are now trending towards selecting popular and fashionable destinations for their holidays, and rely on celebrity experiences and endorsements when doing so. It is this insight that made Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and SriLankan airlines conceptualize a signature event of this nature in order to enhance presence for both the country and brands in this market effectively.
Accompanying the contingent will be Yue-Sai Khan, the Chinese American Emmy-winning television host and producer, successful entrepreneur, fashion icon, bestselling author and humanitarian who has a mammoth following in China. The Miss. Universe China is organized by Yue-Sai Khan Productions, and is one of the most glamorous events in China gathering business leaders, celebrities, international VIPs and media.
“The Sri Lanka tour is the first overseas trip Miss Universe China has embarked on with all of the final contestants. We look at it not only as a holiday away but a great experience for the girls to get a glimpse of what Miss China's role entails as a cultural ambassador who represents their own country as well as in learning and embracing all new cultures. We are thankful to Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and SriLankan airlines for their pioneering initiative in hosting this pre-pageant tour in Sri Lanka.” stated Yue.
SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kapila Chandrasena said, "SriLankan Airlines is delighted to be a partner of such a glamorous and highly anticipated pageant and I'm certain this will create much interest and awareness of Sri Lanka as an island that caters to such high profile events. Due to SriLankan's keen focus on China and our recent efforts to fortify our presence there, we are pleased to be involved with the Miss China pageant and to welcome the contestants and all Chinese tourists to our country"
During their stay in Sri Lanka, the contingent will experience some of the best properties of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, including stays at the tastefully-appointed Cinnamon Lodge Habarana and Cinnamon Bey Beruwala. They will avail the opportunity to experience the mix of rich cultural diversity and wildlife at the epicenter of the cultural triangle and wildlife parks, before indulging in pure bliss on the golden beaches of the southern coast. The highlight of the tour will be the gala fashion event which will be held at Cinnamon Bey on the 30th of August, powered by Access Engineering Ltd., where the contestants will take to the catwalk to portray Sri Lankan high street designs.
“As the trendsetter in the hospitality industry, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts constantly strives to be innovative and dynamic in organizing signature events that are truly world class. By engaging in this world-renown pageant, our objective is to showcase our country as a tourist destination and highlight its diversity. We hope to address a broader aspect of attracting the Chinese travelers to the island and at the same time further strengthen cultural ties between China and Sri Lanka,” said Ajit Gunewardene, Deputy Chairman of John Keells Group. “I’m sure this tour will be an inspiring and enriching experience for the contestants.”
Sri Lanka is expected to generate not only immense publicity but also celebrity endorsements for driving arrivals from the Chinese market. Continuous engagement with the Chinese audience will take place as a result of the main media partner on board with the Miss. Universe China pageant which is iqiyi.com. This online channel has a viewership of over 20 million and is a much stronger platform to engage the Chinese audience. A contingent of Chinese media will also be on tour with the contestants in order to promote Sri Lanka as a quality destination for travel.
The on-ground arrangements of the Miss. Universe China tour are being facilitated by Walkers Tours as the official transport provider, and Laksala, the leading handicrafts retail store in Sri Lanka will also come on board the event by providing traditional attire for the contingent.