Sri Lanka’s tourism prospects shared with Vietnamese travel agents - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s tourism prospects shared with Vietnamese travel agents

Sri Lanka’s tourism prospects shared with Vietnamese travel agents

Daily FT: Sri Lanka Tourism in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam organised a webinar to create awareness of the destination and health protocols amongst the Vietnamese tourism and travel trade.
Currently Sri Lanka is not an ideal “bucket list” destination for Vietnamese travellers and therefore the virtual event helped to showcase Sri Lanka’s niche tourism products which are attractive to Vietnamese. Many pertinent topics related to tourism were discussed during the session which was attended by over 70 tour operators from Vietnam, who expressed interest to promote Sri Lanka to their customer base in a post-COVID environment.
The webinar was chaired by Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Vietnam Prasanna Gamage and Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam Commercial Secretary Prasadi Boomawalage, while the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) representation included Acting Managing Director Madubhani Perera, Director Marketing Dushan Wickramasuriya and Market Officer Shirani Herath.
Ambassador Prasanna Gamage in his opening remarks touched on the current bilateral importance between the two counties and the partnership maintained throughout the years. Buddhist and Cultural Tourism as well as Wellness Tourism were stated as the most important tourism products for Vietnamese tourists.
Acting Managing Director Madubhani Perera stressed on the need for creating greater awareness among the Vietnamese travellers while highlighting the overall strategy of Sri Lanka Tourism.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Director Marketing Dushan Wickramasuriya made a comprehensive and informative presentation of what Sri Lanka truly has to offer and its diversity. He touched upon the cultural aspects, where SLTPB actively wants to promote in the market.
Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association Vice President Nishad Wijetunga gave a brief description of SLAITO and its role as the destination management company in Sri Lanka which handles all the inbound tour operators. He expressed SLAITO’S willingness to welcome all Vietnamese tourists in future.
Representing the hotel industry, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte focused on how the Hoteliers Association of Sri Lanka had become the biggest investor for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. He also expressed how the country is known as the island of gems, producing vibrant gemstones such as sapphires and garnets. He further mentioned tourists could find a variety of boutique hotels, Ayurvedic, safaris and international hotel chains to suit their choice. Association of Small & Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) Executive Committee member Anura Abeywickrama focused on how the organisation always supported its members by hosting different programmes and workshops, and said that Sri Lanka had many tourism products to promote in the Vietnamese market.
Vietnam Society of Travel Agents Deputy President Phung Qung Thanh expressed his gratitude for organising such a timely awareness session and mentioned that the two countries should further enhance the bilateral relationships and more opportunities should be developed by creating tourism packages for visitors.
A fruitful Q&A session followed afterwards in both English and Vietnamese, where the participants enthusiastically participated, inquiring about direct air connectivity, tourism promotional events in Vietnam, familiarisation (FAM) tours, festivals, handicraft villages and details regarding visa procedure.
SLTPB Market Officer Shirani Herath delivered the vote of thanks. The session was moderated by Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam Commercial Secretary Prasadi Boomawalage. The webinar created awareness among the Vietnamese participants, encouraging them to add Sri Lanka to their bucket list.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is once again on the path to recovery recording a steady growth in tourist arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka recorded the highest tourist arrivals in post-Covid scenario last month (September). The country’s tourism authorities have also launched a massive promotional campaign to boost the tourism industry. Sri Lanka has been listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and has figured among the Top 10 island destinations in the world. Also, Sri Lanka’s airports have received the internationally recognised safety and hygiene certifications making the island an attractive post Covid travel destination. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/11102021/Z_1

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