Sri Lanka to boost tourism, trade and investment through World Expo – Dubai
Daily FT: Sri Lanka aims to boost tourism, investments and exports through its participation in the six-month World Expo 2020 in Dubai — the largest global gathering since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.
“We have created tourism, trade and investment opportunities at World Expo, which will generate great growth avenues for Sri Lanka,” Commissioner General for Expo for Sri Lanka/Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando told the Daily FT from Dubai.
Located in the ‘Opportunity District’, the Sri Lanka pavilion was inaugurated under the patronage of Consul General of Sri Lanka – Dubai and Northern Emirates Nalinda Wijerathna on 1 October.
“We will promote, showcase Sri Lanka and facilitate partnerships for opportunity creation. We will do our best to position and champion Sri Lanka at Expo 2020 Dubai,” the Minister said at the inauguration.
The 300-square metre pavilion with its water-based theme brings the planning principles of the ancient civilisation to life, focusing on three key pillars of ‘Authenticity, Compactness and Diversity’. It was designed by a team from the University of Moratuwa and recognised as one of the best designs at Expo 2020 Dubai, which resulted in the pavilion being constructed on a complimentary basis by the Expo organisers.
Fernando said through an aggressive promotion campaign, the target was to position Sri Lanka as a key post-COVID travel destination.
“Our target is to reach 2018 numbers overall,” she added.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said Sri Lanka made it to the Expo despite all the challenges amidst the pandemic.
He said Sri Lanka Tourism was honoured to present the country along with other key partners — the Export Development Board (EDB), the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB), the National Gem and Jewellery Authority, Laksala, SriLankan Airlines, the Board of Investment and other partners.
“We are excited to announce the opening of the amazing and imaginative Sri Lanka pavilion at Expo 2020 – Dubai. Sri Lanka has a rich and unique maritime history with shipping, trade and cultural links. Inspired by an aquatic theme, the pavilion creates a warm and welcoming space for all visitors and highlights its potential as one of the most delightful destinations in the world to visit. We invite the world to visit us at Expo 2020 – Dubai,” Consul General Wijerathna said at the inauguration.
“Sri Lanka is proud to be part of Expo 2020 – Dubai. We have brought together the best of Sri Lanka and we have three messages for the world. First, investment opportunities in tourism, Port City and other areas. Second, world class Ceylon Tea, gems and spices. Third is tourism, inviting the world to visit us and to enjoy a world class offering,” Sri Lanka’s UAE Ambassador Malraj de Silva said.
The specially designed pavilion is a breath-taking mix of heritage, history, local style and the latest technology. This will give participants a glimpse of island life in all its splendour, helping create interest that will attract both visitors and investors. The entire experience is designed to be personal, immersive, and memorable, conveying the island’s warm, sunny personality and exotic character.
Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities are engaged in an aggressive promotional campaign to boost the country’s tourism industry. Sri Lanka has also shown a growth momentum in the tourism industry with tourist arrivals showing a steady growth. The country’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic brought about travel restrictions. However, with Sri Lanka’s airports having received the internationally recognised safety and hygiene certifications and the country engaged in an aggressive vaccination programme, the island is fast becoming an attractive post Covid travel destination. Sri Lanka being listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and the island being listed among the top 10 island destinations have boosted Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. Given the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, foreign businesses/investors could explore the opportunities in the sector.
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