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Sri Lanka conducts “Ceylon-Persia” tourism awareness programme in Iran

Sri Lanka conducts “Ceylon-Persia” tourism awareness programme in Iran

Daily FT: The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Iran, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Association of Air Transport and Tourists Agencies of Iran, and Aitken Spence Travels, organised “Ceylon-Persia” Tourism Awareness Programme 2024 at the chancery premises in Tehran on 5 February.
Over 35 tour companies, outbound tour operators and representatives from the media and airlines were in attendance. The objective of the event was to raise awareness of the recent developments in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and Iran among travel agents, tour operators, other tourism stakeholders and the general public of both countries with a focus of expanding two-way tourism.
During his welcome remarks, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Iran G.M.V. Wishwanath Aponsu referred to the historical bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Iran. He appreciated the collective efforts to encourage Iranian tourists to visit Sri Lanka placing Iran among potential markets for tourism in Sri Lanka and also increasing its ranking on the list of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in March, September and November 2023 with a growth of 140% compared to 2022. Highlighting the unique splendours of Sri Lanka as a leading tourist destination in the world, the Ambassador assured of every possible assistance to the Iranian travel agencies and outbound tour operators.
In the guest speech, Aitken Spence Travels General Manager Kanishka Mahagedara elaborated on the positive dynamics of the visitors from Iran who have selected Sri Lanka as their best tourist destination. He underlined the contribution of Aitken Spence Travels in destination promotion and invited attendees to facilitate and encourage potential tourists to visit Sri Lanka during the upcoming Nowruz (Persian New Year) holiday season in March.
Iran Aitken Spence Travels Representative Mojgan Nowruzi also made her remarks focusing on business opportunities in both Iran and Sri Lanka outbound tourism markets. Requesting further cooperation from the participants, she invited Iran travel agencies to prepare a suitable package for Sri Lankan tourists to visit in Iran. A SLTPB presentation on “Sri Lanka tourism” in the Persian language was made by an officer of the Embassy.
Association of Air Transport and Tourist Agencies of Iran Executive Deputy Dr. Morteza Shabani thanked the Sri Lankan Ambassador and the staff for arranging the Tourism Awareness Programme 2024 and assured of his Association’s fullest support and cooperation to facilitate Iran tourists to Sri Lanka.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka and Persia have had a long-standing historical relationship that continue to gather strength in the business, trade and investment sectors. Local authorities are engaged in many promotional campaigns to promote Sri Lanka as a business and tourism destination in the Middle Eastern region after realizing the untapped potential in the area. With Sri Lanka’s tourism industry now becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the country, the Middle East market also presents a potential tourist source markets. The further strengthening of ties between Sri Lanka and Iran also paves the way for Iranian businesses to explore the expanding business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, given the overall growth in economic activities. Iranian businesses could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with Sri Lanka’s private sector, which has shown strength, resilience and growth even amidst challenging economic conditions. It is important to note that Sri Lanka is fast becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region supported by the country’s strategic positioning in the Indian Ocean and the strong trade ties enjoyed by the country.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240228/Z_3

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