Prestige issue 289, Feb. 2018
The resplendent island
of the Indian Ocean
Sri Lanka, this fabulous island of the Indian Ocean, with its green landscapes has many assets to attract tourists from around the planet. People interested in improving their knowledge about precious stones and tourists who wish to take advantage of the medical services provided in the island in certain fields for which Sri Lanka has built a reputation.
Nowhere in the world can we find the quality of blue sapphires that can be found in Ceylon ex Sri Lanka, named as cornflower blue, sometimes named royal blue or peacock feather blue. In addition to the highly sought after blue sapphire, Sri Lanka has a diversity of gems in its soil, like the exciting yellow sapphire, rubies, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, blue topaz, tourmaline and alexandrite. Most tourists who visit Sri Lanka desire to learn something about gems. They desire to follow a course or participate in short term training workshops. They can also choose to have a mining experience or gem cutting experience. The GJRTI has introduced a novel concept to the tourism industry by providing some short term in- house training courses workshops relating to gems and jewelry for tour groups at a competitive fee.
In order to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka, there are service offerings in medical tourism ranging from extremely high surgeries like transplants to relatively standard procedures such as hip replacements. Lanka hospitals has focused on building expertise in cochlear implant surgeries, that implant an electronic device providing a sense of sound to a person who is deaf in one or in both ears. Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold. In addition to health resorts dedicated to the practice of authentic Ayurveda or wellness spas for tourists, who merely wish to maintain their health or prevent future medical problems. Added to the medical and gemological fields, a whole spectrum of fields spanning the cultural and agricultural spheres also attract the tourists.
Tea and Cinnamon
Sri Lanka has been known for a long time for its tea plantations and tea industry that attract good demand from countries in the Middle East like Iran and Iraq but also Russia and Ukraine. Since the early days of civilization, Ceylon cinnamon, the miracle spice of Sri Lanka was one of the first spices known to mankind. It is known that cinnamon originating in Sri Lanka had been a commodity of much value and prestige amongst nations. Sri Lanka produces and exports 90% of its production annually. The value of Ceylan cinnamon cultivated in Sri Lanka is due to the quality of the bark, and specially the presence of aroma giving volatile compounds known as «terpenoids». What distinguishes Ceylon Cinnamon from Cassia cinnamon produced in Indonesia, India and Vietnam is its unique form of «quills», the inside of which is filled like a cigar with their peels of cinnamon, it is also three to four times more expensive than the other varieties, while Cassia cinnamon usually found in supermarkets is essentially a one thick piece of bark strip that curls inward on both sides into a hollow tube. Owing to its numerous health benefits regular, consumption of cinnamon could potentially lower blood sugar levels, help digestion, ease arthritis, lower cholesterol and even ward off Alzheimer.
The agriculture practices that have been carried out for many years with indigenous knowledge of the traditional Sri Lankan farmers, have tremendously contributed for the development of sustainable agriculture in Sri Lanka. This country has long held a reputation for its organic farming practices and there are several trail blazing Sri Lankan companies that have been in the forefront of exporting organic produce since the 1990’s. Therefore, the country has built a great identity for quality organic produce in comparison to other countries in the region. Different varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown in Sri Lanka like banana, pineapple, papaya…
With all the advantages offered by Sri Lanka to the tourists, one must not forget the picturesque landscapes of tea fields and rice plantations, the temples and Buddha statues, panoramic views of archaeological sites and remains.