Sri Lanka wellness tourism sector shines at first-ever participation at WTM

Monday, 2 December 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

“It was an incredible opportunity for us as a bespoke wellness retreat to showcase our products in an international arena and meet international buyers as well as media and influencers in wellness travel. Our presence generated a very positive interest in all the sectors of wellness travel and gives much confidence going forward in developing our business,” stated a Sri Lankan delegate, Sen Wellness Sanctuary Founder Dr. Sam Kankanamge, at the recently concluded World Travel Market London 2019 Exhibition.  

The EDB has organised this event with the aim of developing and promoting the wellness tourism service sector exports from Sri Lanka to UK, which has been identified as one of the focused sectors in the National Export Strategy (NES). With the view of global positioning of the sector under the country branding ‘So Sri Lanka’ and promoting it in the key target markets, UK has been identified as one of the most prospective markets in Europe with a huge potential for Sri Lanka wellness tourism sector. 

“It was indeed a pleasure to be a part of the Sri Lankan delegation of wellness tourism at WTM London 2019 where it was revealed that there is a huge potential for Sri Lanka to promote wellness tourism in this market,” said Tree of Life Managing Director Shelly Thenuwara.

“The event enabled participants to obtain an insight and speak with a variety of stakeholders including wellness tour operators, bloggers, journalists and influencers who were keen about the wellness and lifestyle industry, which could secure new business opportunities in the UK market,” stated Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort Director Geetha Karandawala.

Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort, Heritance Ayurveda Mahagedara, Sen Wellness Sanctuary, Tree of Life Ltd., Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilion, and Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resort participated at this exhibition. Sen Wellness Sanctuary Founder Dr. Sam Kankanamge, Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort Director Geetha Karandawala, and Tree of Life Managing Director Shelly Thenuwara, were among the Sri Lankan delegation.

Each company had conducted 40-60 business meetings with potential business contacts, influential travel agents, travel magazines (Vogue magazine, National Geographic, Conde Nast, etc.), hoteliers, and interested individuals during the exhibition which could result in future business developments of the companies. The new business contacts generated in this event with the potential clients would create the platform to increase business in the best interest of the Sri Lankan wellness tourism industry. Sri Lankan companies are following up the business inquiries they received at the exhibition towards success.

The main focus of organising this event was to have an exposure to introduce Sri Lanka wellness sector offerings to the UK market as a new service area and to build up business relationships between the two countries. 

This exhibition has helped the industry to reach the target audience in communicating and expanding the scope and also helped with market insights and to know customer needs better which has long-term benefits for enhancing and developing the service portfolio.

The EDB is giving a prominent place for the Sri Lankan wellness tourism sector to achieve its overall goals. The EDB is also planning to organise similar programs in other countries in future to explore business opportunities for the Sri Lankan wellness tourism sector service providers.