Increase in MICE a game changer for Sri Lanka Tourism says SLAITO
The Morning: There is a “tremendous increase in business tourism in terms of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) which would be a “game changer” for Sri Lanka Tourism says, President, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Niishad Wijetunga.
He made these remarks recently at the press briefing held prior to the commencement of the 67th Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Convention and Exhibition.
TAAI hosted its 2023 Convention in Colombo from 6-9 July on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) as its main sponsoring partner in association with SLAITO.
Further, the President of TAAI, Jyoti Mayal said that TAAI is the right opportunity for Sri Lanka in terms of connecting consumers from India for bilateral tourism at a time the SLTPB along with the Ministry of Tourism and Lands are working towards attracting tourists from India to Sri Lanka.
TAAI is an organization formed to regulate the travel industry in India while its area of activity extends to aviation- outbound and inbound tourism, MICE-outbound and inbound, adventure tourism, sports tourism.
Speaking at the press conference, Chairman SLTPB Chalaka Gajabahu, stressed that negative renationalization by the media on the economic crisis hampered tourist arrivals when the foreign exchange earnings were most needed. Meanwhile, the second highest forex earner was tourism and it was 4% from the GDP of the country, said Wijetunga.
Under the theme of “Transcending Borders – Transforming Lives” TAAI programmed, organized by the Indian Tourism Federation was held at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Conference Hall (BMICH) on 6 July. President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the event expressed the plans in the pipeline for tourism.
He said: “We expect to attract many visitors from Asia, including India, East Asia, South Asia, and West Asia, because it is easier for them to travel. We will open up the Eastern Province, and there will be apartments available for purchase where you can directly stay near the beaches of the Eastern Province.”
TAAI Colombo Summit also partnered with four major airlines, namely SriLankan Airlines, Air India, IndiGo, and Vistara.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is once again on the growth path after facing the global pandemic and the economic crisis. There is a steady growth in tourist arrivals to the country indicating a further potential to expand. The many promotional campaigns carried out in key tourism source markets by local tourism authorities and the exposure received by Sri Lanka in the international media as a must visit tourist destination have also helped boost the country’s tourism industry. There’s a growing business potential in the tourism industry given the expanding tourism concepts. Apart from the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors, there’s also growing opportunities in the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities required by the industry to keep up with the increasing number of tourists to the country. The growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is a definite attraction for foreign businesses/investors.
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