Sri Lanka participated at Borsa Internazionale del Turismo (BIT) 2017 in Milan, Italy, seeking to build on the 22% growth in arrivals from Italy last year.
BIT which is Italy’s leading travel fair was held from 2 to 4 April with the participation of 22 Sri Lankan travel agents, tour operators and hoteliers who held productive B2B meetings with the Italian travel trade.
Tourism Development, Lands and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga declared open the Sri Lanka Pavilion along with Senior Board Member of the Milan Chamber and Chairman/CEO of Antares Hotels Milano, Remo Eder, who was the chief guest.
Others present at the opening ceremony were Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Rome, Daya Pelpola, Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Milan, Pradeepa Saram, Minister Counsellor (Commercial) of Sri Lanka Embassy, Somasena Mahadiulwewa, Senior Adviser to the Minister, Felix Rodrigo and Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Sutheash Balasubramanium, invitees from the travel trade and chambers of commerce in Milan.
Following the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and a cultural performance, speeches were delivered by the Chief Guest, Minister Amaratunga, Ambassador Pelpola and SLPTB Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramanium drawing attention to different aspects of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
A big draw at the Sri Lanka Pavilion was a ‘tea corner’ set up by the Sri Lanka Tea Board that served Ceylon Tea with traditional oil cakes, sesame products and Sri Lankan cookies.
BIT is one of Europe’s most innovative travel shows featuring the key segments of leisure, luxury, MICE, and sports. This year over 1,500 buyers and 2,000 international and Italian companies participated in the show. It is estimated that more than 60,000 professionals visited the three day event. Sri Lanka’s participation at BIT 2017 was facilitated by the SLTPB in association with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome and Sri Lanka Consulate in Milan.