Sri Lanka Tourism wins Best Stall at top travel show in India

Monday, 16 February 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  At the eve of President Maithripala Sirisena’s historic visit to India where he is scheduled to meet Indian premier Narendra Modi, Sri Lanka Tourism was at the biggest travel trade show in India – OTM Mumbai. Sri Lanka Tourism showcasing the treasures of Sri Lanka in one island was awarded the coveted ‘Best Stall’ which was staged at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai. This was one such initiative in the Indian market to achieve the targeted visitors of 335,000 that we are pushing to achieve in 2015 together with the private sector, said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Chairman Rohantha Athukorala. The Counsellor General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai Saroja Sirisena who accepted the award on behalf of the country commented, “This is a big win for Sri Lanka and I admire the talent at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau for the new direction in developing a new identity for the country. Now we must build on this win and strengthen the links with the travel partners in India.” The Minister for Tourism and Sports Navin Dissanayake voiced, “I commend the strong working partnership between the private and public sector and namely how Sri Lanka Promotions Bureau engages with other state actors for building the image of Brand Sri Lanka in Mumbai which accounts for about one third of all outbound travels from India. Maharashtra is the top destination state for foreign tourist arrivals says the industry experts. Our push in each market is driving the agenda on positioning Sri Lanka to be seen as the ‘Most treasured island in Asia’. That is our single minded idea.” “This will be supplemented with visiting journalist programs and trade familiarisation tours from the key focus markets. We will also be testing new marketing strategies like Films marketing – which is what we are doing in the French market to be replicated in the Indian market,” said Athukorala. Over 2,500 participants from 70 countries, including 28 participants from Sri Lanka Tourism, displayed their products at the show with Sri Lankan airlines partnering the event which was also unique so that synergies were driving the tourism agenda of Sri Lanka. “I dedicate this award to the strong talent that exits at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional bureau and now we must roll out the rest of the marketing activities like journalist visitor program, trade familiarisation visits and creating awareness of the new products in Sri Lanka that will attract the top end Indians to visit Sri Lanka,” said Chairman Athukorala. The largest pavilions at the Travel exhibition were from Sri Lanka, Turkey, New Zealand, but there was stiff completion from Mexico, Dubai, Japan, Thailand, Egypt, Nepal, Philippines, Macau, China and Argentina which makes the Sri Lanka Tourism award special and it sets the stage for the 335,000 targeted visitors from Indian to Sri Lanka. An interesting feature at the event was that many Indian states too exhibited at the show such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Daman & Diu, Karnataka, Punjab, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra. For the first time, SriLankan Airlines participated at the event and won an award in the segment for value leisure while Sri Lanka Tourism took away the best stall award.