Sri Lanka shows potential at OTDYKH Leisure Travel and Tourism Fair

Wednesday, 2 October 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Industry participants

Sri Lankan participants 

At the opening ceremony 

Flags representing all nations 

Exchanging business ideas with foreign counterparts 

Experiencing Sri Lankan treats 

Visitors at the Sri Lankan stall 

SLTPB Assistant Director Sasika Jayaweera at a media interview 

The attractive Sri Lankan stall 

OTDYKH Leisure Travel and Tourism Fair is one of the largest travel fairs in Moscow, Russia which draws a large number of visitors on an annual basis. It was held from 10 to 12 September at

The award 
Brochures on Sri Lanka 

Expocentre, for the 25th time, with the participation of more than 20 destinations around the world. As a major travel and tourism fair held in the Russian continent, OTDYKH enables exhibitors to increase awareness of their destination and also to gain a real feel for the Russian travel market.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau attended this year’s Leisure 2019 situated in an area of 80 sq. m. with 12 travel industry participants representing hotels and travel companies. This Sri Lanka stand located in Pavilion number 2, hall number 1 was officially opened by Sri Lanka Embassy in the Russian Federation Counsellor Mohamed Anas on behalf of Sri Lanka Ambassador for Russia Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka, on 10 September. 

Speaking at the occasion Counsellor Mohamed Anas stressed the importance of promoting Sri Lanka as a destination for the Russian market which has a huge potential. He appreciated the interest from the travel trade to promote the Russian market especially in wellness tourism, culture, wildlife and luxury products. Counsellor Mohamed Anas also welcomed and thanked each company, who has travelled all the way from Sri Lanka and taken part in the Leisure 2019. 

The Sri Lanka Travel trade was represented by travel companies such as Aitken Spence Travel, Deluxe Holiday, Nkar Travel & Tours, Tangerine Tours, Ceylon My Dream, Exotic Holidays, Concord Exotic Voyages Company and hotels such as Citrus Leisure, Lanka Super Coral, Cinnamon Hotels, Taj Bentota Resort & Spa and The Long Beach Resort.

Sasika Jayaweera , Assistant Director handling Russia and CIS markets represented the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and Chathurika Perera, Second Secretary of Sri Lanka Embassy in Moscow who supported this travel fair from the Sri Lanka mission in Russia were present at the opening ceremony. The president and few members of the Tourism Safety Association in Russia were also present at the occasion. 

A round tour table meeting with media and popular tour operators in Russia was held on 10 September, with regard to the safety of the Russian travellers in Sri Lanka after the April attacks. Sasika Jayaweera represented SLTPB and Chathurika Perera represented Sri Lanka at this meeting. All questions were directed to the Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau on what actions have been taken by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tourism Promotion Bureau to mitigate the impact after the April attacks and safety of the Russian travellers in Sri Lanka.  Sasika Jayaweera, who represented the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau replied by explaining the steps that have been taken by the Government as well as SLTPB. She also mentioned that none of the Russian travellers got injured or killed unlike the terrorist attack that took place in Turkey 2015 where 90 Russian travellers were killed. The media which was present at the meeting stressed that even though Sri Lanka has taken some steps to improve the security of a traveller, enough publicity has not been given regarding this information overseas and this info has not reached Russian tourists who are interested in flying to Sri Lanka for a vacation. 

However, after the end of the meeting they thanked the Sri Lankan delegation for giving them some useful information which they were not aware of. Having said that, the Russian tour operators and online media have stated that it is very important to publish that information in an online platform where most of the tourists will refer before they select their travel destination.  Sri Lanka won an award for the active participation among the 28 countries who took part in this travel fair at the 25th anniversary edition of OTDYKH Leisure Travel Fair 2019, which was held at 6 p.m. on 10 September. Chathurika Perera and Sasika Jayaweera represented Sri Lanka at the above event and received the award during the ceremony.