Sri Lanka Convention Bureau participates at IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany

Thursday, 22 June 2023 02:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin organised the Sri Lanka Pavilion at the IMEX  exhibition in Messe Frankfurt, Germany recently. 

Sri Lankan representation at this event came after a long hiatus owing to the COVID -19 pandemic. 

Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) being the government body incorporated under the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005 works towards elevating Sri Lanka internationally as a unique venue for MICE/Business events. SLCB functions under the Ministry of Tourism & Lands. 

SLCB has been organising Sri Lanka’s participation at IMEX from its inception but were prevented from doing so for the past two years due to the pandemic. 

IMEX is the largest trade show in Europe for the meetings and events industry, bridging global event planners and buyers with significant buying power. The buyers were not limited only to Germany but amalgamated stakeholders from around the world creating a truly global marketplace.  

The location for IMEX proved very conducive to making connections vital to the MICE industry. Frankfurt, the host city for IMEX is the largest financial hub in continental Europe with many global and European corporate headquarters, the headquarters of the European Central Bank and major German banks. In addition, Frankfurt Airport is the busiest in Germany.

The exhibitor profile of IMEX included national and regional tourism convention bureaus, major hoteliers, associations, conference and exhibition venues & organisers, corporates and incentive travel organisers, cruise lines, airlines technology providers, event management specialists and a host of other tourism related stakeholders.  There were 10 Sri Lankan MICE operators who attended the IMEX to promote Sri Lanka as MICE destination. Walkers Tours Limited, Aitken Spence Travels  Ltd., Abercrombie & Kent Ltd., Sri Lanka Express, Colombo Conferences  Ltd., Radisson Hotels, Connaissance De Ceylon  Ltd., Chamathka Holidays, SriLankan Airlines & Sri Lanka Convention Bureau exhibited at the Sri Lanka Pavilion at IMEX. 

The participants were provided with a pre-determined appointment schedule with the hosted buyers and visiting buyers attending the program during the three days.

This year’s IMEX exhibition witnessed great enthusiasm among the buyers as they were educated on Sri Lanka’s unique offerings and an all-encompassing value proposition, including heritage, culture, beaches and adventure travel. 

Tourism is poised to be a key segment contributing to Sri Lanka’s tourism growth. Germany is a vital market for the overall tourism industry in Sri Lanka traditionally occupying the 4th position in terms of arrival. Tourist arrivals from Germany have sustained the tourism industry even during very challenging times. Sri Lanka set a target to achieve 1.5 million tourists during the year 2023 and it is estimated that approximately 10% - 15%   have accounted for MICE tourism.  Sri Lanka expects approximately $ 300 million income from MICE tourism by the year-end. Sri Lanka’s geographical location provides a great advantage to develop the MICE tourism segment. The development of the sector can also help to reduce seasonal limitations by providing year-round tourism revenue. Therefore, participation in international MICE specific exhibitions such as IMEX is an important part of promoting Sri Lanka’s MICE tourism sector. 

Her Excellency, The Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Berlin Varuni Muthukumarana was inaugurated at the Sri Lanka pavilion. In addition to a meet and greet session with the Sri Lankan delegates, she engaged in an in-depth discussion on promoting MICE tourism to Sri Lanka.