Sri Lanka Tourism kicked off a series of roadshows in selected cities of South India yesterday, to attract more visitors from the giant neighbour.
The delegation is led by Tourism Minister Harin Fernando and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Chalaka Gajabahu, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) Chairman Thisum Jayasuriya, SLCB Marketing Manager Malkanthi Welikla, SLTPB Junior Manager Shirani Herath, where the first roadshow was held in Chennai yesterday, followed by Cochin on Wednesday and Bangalore on Friday.
The five-day promotion in three cities aims at promoting a myriad of tourism experiences Sri Lanka can offer to South Indian travellers.
“Our focus is to tap into the potential travellers and insist that Sri Lanka is open for leisure, business, and MICE tourism,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando told Daily FT following the first roadshow in Chennai on Monday.
The delegation comprises over 30 Sri Lankan travel agencies, DMCs and hotels that have joined to promote Sri Lanka and expand its warm bilateral and cultural ties with its Indian counterparts.
The target audience at the multi-city roadshow includes the tour operators, media, influencers, corporates, trade associations and key tourism industry stakeholders in India, who will take the message that Sri Lanka is not only one of the most beautiful countries with an amazing range of destinations and products but is also safe and secure.
With the amazing responses received after the first South Indian roadshow on Monday, the Minister said Sri Lanka Tourism is ambitious to make 2023 the best year post-COVID pandemic.
“There is also a lot of appreciation that India and Sri Lanka have for each other as the closest and dearest neighbours. India and Sri Lanka have experienced an exhilarating renewal of democracy in recent times,” Fernando added.
He said the industry aims to reposition the country in the international arena, to accomplish the pre-COVID benchmark in 2023 and the closer relationship with the Indian market is perfect to experience the warm hospitality of Sri Lankan people.
The Minister said they are looking at ways to extend the long-term multiple-entry visa to Indian travellers in the future.
SLTPB Chairman said this was a great opportunity for the industry to interact directly with tour operators from India and share insights and best practices, analyse trends and plan future strides.
“The scope to present new products, expand business horizons and networking was beneficial to all the participants,” he added.
Each roadshow will include B2B sessions followed by a networking event which will also help to improve business partnerships.