Friday, 8 May 2015 00:00
Minister Navin Dissanayake is all smiles as the Middle Eastern market grows by 16.4% with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chief Rohantha Athukorala, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Paddy Witarana, SLTPB Managing Director Milanka Gajanayake and the Consular General Sri Lanka for Dubai and UAE MM Abdul RaheemThe Sri Lanka Pavilion was ranked as one of the most eye-catching stalls at ATM on the wildlife theme
The Sri Lankan tourism stall garnered significant interest at the recent Arabian Travel Fair 2015 (ATM) and is expected to help funnel more tourists from the Middle-East.
Tourists from the Middle East attract an increasing number of tourists to Sri Lanka, generating revenues of approximately $175 million per annum. This yearâs travel fair saw attendance from top tourism officials including Minister of Sports and Tourism Navin Dissanayake and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Rohantha Athukorala.
Upon visiting the Sri Lankan stall, Dissanayake had expressed his approval at the cutting-edge work carried out in promoting Sri Lanka as a vibrant tourist destination, particularly in terms of the emphasis that had been placed on wildlife and eco-tourism.
âThe market is growing by 16.4% at 27,568 visitors as at end April 2015 which is a good indicator but we must become more aggressive to fill the hotel occupancy during summer months,â said Minister Dissanayake.
The Sri Lankan delegation at the SriLankan Airlines stall
ATM 2015 is said to have attracted 231 of the most prolific international travel agencies as at the second day of the fair which took place in Dubai.
Meanwhile, commenting on the strategic direction of SLTPB, Athukorala said: âSri Lanka Tourism has already activated a robust campaign in the wholesale market with strong trade visibility since last February at the Riyadh Travel Mart followed up with road shows in Damman and Riyadh and now we are planning on a marketing burst for consumer demand creation work in large hyper malls together with SriLankan Airlines.â
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chief Rohantha Athukorala was aggressively driving sales partnerships
âWe want to objectively evaluate the achievements from ATM post the event and then over a six-month time period together with the private sector so that we move to ROI-based marketing investment. I am happy to state that this yearâs event is 6% more cost effective than last year though the exhibition space has been increased by 18% to 308 square metres,â he added.
ATM this year is said to attract 23,000 visitors in the regionâs largest travel show case. The ministerial forum will be opened by Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Minister for Tourism and Antiquities Sheik Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
The theme for the event will be âFamily Travelâ and top professionals from all over the world will preside in panel discussions and guest speeches at the breakout sessions whilst normally the business billed runs to a staggering billion dollars said a tourism expert from the Middle Eastern and North African Regions (MENA).
Â Business was swift on day one with strong demand for the island destinationThe Sri Lanka Tea Board hosted a single origin Ceylon Tea Boutique