It’s funny how the best things about Sri Lanka are run by the most incompetent people. Perhaps ‘run’ isn’t the right word. ‘Claimed’, or ‘squatted on’, as both the Cricket Board and Tourist Board are as much rent-seeking lackeys and authorities. Recently, for example, the official Tourism Bureau was declared the official tourism partner of the ongoing ICC World Cup. Which, I may be missing something, seems hardly newsworthy. It seems like saying the CEB is the official electricity partner. Congratulations? Then there’s the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards, where the authorities largely awarded themselves.
There, for example, the award for best tourist magazine went to Serendib, the in-flight magazine of the state owned airline. The award was presented by… SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe. So SriLankan literally gave an award to itself. Three awards were also given to official missions in the US, China and Russia, essentially for doing their jobs. I can say with some knowledge that the mission in China isn’t especially bright. Until recently their official website autoplayed ‘This Land Is Your Land’ which is A) American and B) not especially relevant to tourism.
Sri Lankan Awards in general (the Graetien, bestweb.lk, press awards) generally award mediocrity, but the tourist board awarding itself is, well, I guess it’s not beyond the pale. That seems about normal.