Sri Lanka Tourism to participate at key Russian travel fair MITT

Monday, 16 March 2015 02:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka Tourism will participate at the popular Russian travel fair the 22nd Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MITT) from 18 to 21 March in Moscow.   The decision follows a discussion between Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the private sector over the weekend. Given the currency crisis in Russia, the 10 bidders who expressed their interest to set up the Sri Lanka Pavilion hadn’t responded to the tender, putting Sri Lanka’s participation at the key Russian fair in the balance. With the intervention of SLTPB and the private sector, it was resolved that together with the help of Sri Lankan Embassy in Russiaa spirited effort would be made to showcase Sri Lanka Tourism at the Russian fair. Despite its own problems, tourist arrivals from Russia in 2014 grew by 36% to a record high of 69,718. In 2014, the MITT recorded an attendance of 37,436 unique visitors, 74% of whom were travel trade professionals.   “The overall Russian market is worth $ 125 million annually for Sri Lanka tourism and even though there is an economic crisis in Russia, Sri Lanka needs to keep the marketing momentum and support the private sector industry,” said SLTPB Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala who will lead the Sri Lanka delegation for MITT.   He said there had been a very positive trend for tourism with the Sri Lanka Pavilion winning the ‘Best Stall’ award last week in Guangzhou, China at the GITF 2015 whilst participation at ITB in Berlin was impactful. “We need to forge ahead despite challenges,” Athukorala added. Held annually, MITT is Russia’s largest and longest running travel exhibition. With over 2,056 participating companies and more than 200 destinations, it is the key meeting place for the industry and an opportunity to catch up with colleagues and clients. In addition, it enables participants to increase awareness of their destination, gain a real feel for the Russian travel market and gauge demand for their services. The year 2015 marks MITT’s 22nd edition. Since 1994, the event has become the main industry forum for travel professionals.MITT welcomes both trade and consumer visitors, with specific ‘trade only’ days. As the demand for travel services in Russia grows and the spending power of Russian travellers becomes more well-known, the popularity of the event has continued to grow, the organisers said.