World Travel Market (WTM), the leading global event of the Travel and Tourism Trade, kicked off on 2 November at the Excel Exhibition Hall in London, UK.
Having foreseen the unique opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a renowned destination, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has taken steps to arrange for the country’s participation in the event, along with 64 partners of the industry.
Sri Lanka Tourism, in collaboration with the travel industry, has been participating in this event for over 40 years. The main objective behind facilitating this event is to provide the Sri Lankan travel industry with an opportunity to meet, interact and network with travel and tourism industry partners from the UK and around the world to gain an immediate competitive advantage for the Sri Lanka travel industry and stay abreast with the latest developments in the travel industry.
The travel fair will provide the small and medium hotels and travel agents (SME sector) with a valuable opportunity to participate in WTM at a concessionary rate this year as well.
The Sri Lankan pavilion, encompassing an area of 280 square meters, has taken a cutting-edge position by making the theme of the stand ‘Tea and Sand’.
The backdrop of the stand depicts a tea estate where the first tea bush was planted by Sir James Taylor in 1867 and has created a ‘Ceylon Tea Boutique’ concept for WTM which will be taken globally to be exhibited at every major event.
All together, 64 travel agents from Sri Lanka participated in WTM this year, which is an all-time high. All visitors to the Sri Lankan pavilion will have a rare chance of enjoying a cup of pure Ceylon tea.
Under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs, Sri Lanka has a 2020 vision of achieving a total traveler tally of 4 million with extended travel nights and revenues.
Sri Lanka has already become a popular travel destination among UK tourists within the past few years. The arrival figures up to October 2015 from the UK stood at 132,261, which was a growth of 12.6% over the corresponding period of last year.
Sri Lanka Tourism expects over 220,000 tourist arrivals from the UK and WTM will indeed be a milestone in this journey. The Sunday Times, UK, one of the top newspapers in the country with a wide circulation, has identified Sri Lanka as the destination of the year for travel in the travel section of the paper which has given a huge boost to promote Sri Lanka in the world travel market.