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SLCB successfully partners with IBTM China

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The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) attended IBTM China, held on 12 and 13 September, in Beijing, China. The Chinese edition of the IBTM (Incentives, Business, Travel and Meetings) expo is one of Asia’s largest events that brings together the stakeholders of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) travel industry. 

IBTM is approved by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Chinese business travellers accounted for 138.5 million domestic trips to attend meetings and conventions in 2014 and spent a total $ 110 billion in the process. Improved air travel and transport links has increased the demand for outbound business tourism in China with a 17.4% growth in outbound MICE travel from China over the last five years, reaching almost 17 million trips. 

Access to the top level buyers from China is essential to growing business in the region.

IBTM China brings together the top level players in Asia who have the spending power to partner with the regions high quality suppliers of MICE travel. SLCB was accompanied by five local industry participants/suppliers of MICE travel from Sri Lanka. IBTM China MICE buyers were carefully chosen according to a strict criteria in order to increase the effectiveness and productivity of the participation at this trade fair. The local industry participants who attended IBTM China were able to schedule one-on-one meetings with high quality MICE buyers and establish relationships and secure deals with top level decision-makers in the MICE industry. 

The SLCB is a statutory body under the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs. SLCB’s main mandate is to promote and position Sri Lanka as a preferred destination to hold MICE events. Partnering with IBTM is part of SLCB’s strategic vision to promote Sri Lanka as an optimal MICE destination in Asia. SLCB, together with the accompanying industry participants, received the opportunity and preference when scheduling the one-to-one appointments with the buyers prior to the event. 

Given the long standing relationship of SLCB and IBTM, SLCB was also given the provision to choose the location where the SLCB stall would be situated on the Trade Floor to optimise visibility and footfall. The SLCB exhibit, given prime location within the expo, was able attract a large crowd on both days of the expo and generate a large interest in Sri Lanka. 

SLCB conducted five press interviews and SLCB General Manager Inoshini Perera made a 20-minute presentation to the hosted buyers and IBTM guests, covering the salient aspects of why they should consider Sri Lanka for their next MICE activity or event. Additionally, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tea Board, SLCB hosted a Ceylon tea-tasting experience on 12 September at the Buyers Lounge and presented how Sri Lanka is geared to accommodate Chinese tourists, particularly high quality MICE tourists. 

The Sri Lankan Embassy in China rendered their utmost assistance to SLCB and organised a MICE buyer forum with 20 MICE specific buyers at the Embassy on 11 September for the representatives of SLCB. General Manager Inoshini perera and Head of Marketing Kumudu Hennedige presented why these very buyers should propose Sri Lanka to the corporates, associations and event and exhibition organisers they organise MICE events for. Deputy Ambassador Shani Karunaratne, Commercial Counsellor Alexi Gunasekera and Commercial Manager Chami also addressed the audience and emphasised the importance of promoting Sri Lanka as an optimal MICE destination. 

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