Ceylon Tea recently received a much-needed boost in front of a capacity crowd at the Sri Lanka pavilion at World Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy.
The Expo Milan 201 5 which had its inauguration with much pomp and pageantry on 1 May boasted of 2.7 million visitors during the first month, which was estimated to have easily exceeded three million visitors in the second month (June).
While 70% of the visitors are from Italy itself, the organisers are predicting a total attendance of close to 20 million people by end of the six-month period on 31 October. A capacity crowd of over four million visitors each month is expected to join the Expo during the last two months of September and October.
The Sri Lanka Pavilion was located in the ‘Fruits & Lagoon’ cluster and the Sri Lanka Tea Board combined effectively with the Export Development Board and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau to give a significant fillip for Ceylon Tea at this global platform which had exhibition booths from 141 countries covering all five continents.
The distribution company of the gourmet Ceylon Tea brand Mlesna in Italy Vicentini gave the much-needed logistic support at this promotional event catapulting the ‘national brand’ to an apex with a typical Sri Lankan atmosphere.
The ‘Sri Lanka Tea Day’ at Expo Milano 2015 commenced with a liquid tea tasting and sampling session in the morning where three types of Ceylon iced teas namely sour sap flavoured tea, mango flavoured tea and a straight black tea which was distributed to the visitors. Ceylon iced teas were enjoyed and appreciated by the visitors to the Sri Lanka pavilion.
The grand finale was kept for the afternoon session which opened with a mesmerising Kandyan style dance by a Sri Lankan troupe. While the members of the media were invited in advance and separate seating was arranged, the public were escorted by the dance group through a typical Sri Lankan performance.
The keynote presentation at ‘Precious Tea Moments’ was made by Hasitha de Alwis, Director (Promotion) Middle East, Gulf and North Africa of the Sri Lanka Tea Board based in Dubai. While the veteran speaker took the audience through a journey dubbed ‘A Mystery of Ceylon Tea,’ explaining the Sri Lanka tea industry in brief, he drew attention of the participants to an exciting practical session under the theme ‘Diversity in Specialty’.
In that workshop, the audience were served with seven major agro-climatic regional teas of Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussellawa, Uva, Dimbula, Kandy, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna. In the midst of savouring each tea, the speaker explained the unique characteristics of each region to the audience. The practical session was well enjoyed by the participants.
After another excellent performance by the troupe which displayed a tea plucker dance most compatible for the occasion, the opportunity was given to Valeria Vicentini, the agent/distributor of Mlesna Tea, to take the stage and explain the strength and positives of their brand which consists of 100% pure Ceylon Tea.
A question and answer session followed, giving the participants an opportunity to submit all their queries and receive clarification. The Sri Lankan dancing troupe came back to thrill the audience and give them sweet memories of the ‘Wonder of Asia’ and the world-renowned golden brew.
The promotion done for Ceylon Tea at Expo Milano 2015 was considered an instantaneous success.