Enroute on Family Friendly Trails in Sri Lanka for 2020
As we bid farewell to 2019 and embrace 2020 with arms wide open, this year is expected to be a time of revival and turning a new leaf. In short, we are optimistic about an exciting 2020 with more pleasant challenges and highlights ahead for Sri Lanka. With the ever changing travel trends, the Khiri Travel Sri Lankan team is gearing up to adapt and to share our passion for discovery.
In 2019, we have seen a steady increase in families traveling together. Often with three generations and sometimes, even more, traveling together. What we have noticed while planning these trips is that families no longer ask for just a beach holiday, but they are more open to more experiential activities. One of the key factors is that the kids are entertained while learning at the same time, gaining memories (and maybe even skills and knowledge) that they can bring back home. Keeping this in mind, we have created some excursions which are kid-friendly, while keeping the adults interested at the same time. These include: a treasure hunt in Ritigala with an Indiana Jones theme, an elephant counting challenge on safaris, and Junior Ranger courses at the wildlife campsites. Capering in Kandy – one of our newest signature programs involves visiting a local house in Kandy to experience a fun and interactive dancing lesson. The traditional Kandyan dancing moves are fun for the whole family. Offering something personal and avoiding the touristy cultural shows, where hundreds of tourists are packed into theatres, creates special moments that families cherish forever.
As Art & Music has been a popular and recurring theme among our experiential travelers, we are ready to launch new products that match this trend. We have developed activities in the Northwest region called “Meet the Manjas”, which involves a short jam session filled with song and dance. Guests meet an ethnic group, consisting of African descendants, who trace their ancestry back to slaves brought over during the colonial days. We also have another new signature program focused on Dumbara Weaving, an ancient handicraft of Kandy. While leaving Kandy towards the East Coast and Gal Oya, this activity conveniently takes place in the suburbs of Kandy on the way to Mahiyangana.
We’ve also seen that the Sri Lankan Food has gradually started gaining worldwide acclaim and has become one of the driving factors attracting visitors here. Travelers enthusiastically seek the real-authentic home-cooking, rather watered-down rice & curry. Unencumbered even if things get a bit too spicy. We are also constantly expanding and updating our network of local homestays around the island. We want our guests to experience authentic cooking sessions and feel the hospitality of local families. Supper with a southern twist is the newest addition to our portfolio of homestays: the seafood dinner at a local house in Galle serves as the perfect farewell dinner for many families. From Jaffna and Delft Island in the north, Batticaloa in the East Coast, all the way to Kandy and Gampaha: our team takes pride in showing our guests the different sides of Sri Lankan cuisine. For 2020, we will continue to look out for new homes and families, who are willing to host and share the stories of their grandma’s cooking!
Out of all the regions in Sri Lanka, we expect a steady increase along the north and east coast as people look for more off-the-beaten track adventures. With solid experience and travel products in these areas, our team of travel-designers are confident that we can cater to the increasing demand. With this trend, we expect Kumana National Park to gain in popularity as it is only accessible from the East Coast and relatively unknown still. We are expecting to launch camping trips in Kumana with our partners, who are well equipped and have forestry experience in the park.
As sustainability remains an integral part of our operation, we anticipate that more travelers will continue exploring with a lower footprint. Last year, we successfully implemented our refillable bottles policy with a majority of our guests and also handed out reusable straws. For 2020, we hope to expand the use of our refillable bottles to our business partners.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our business partners and friends. With our fullest support and cooperation, let’s make 2020 a happy and successful new year!