Anando Sangbad: Sri Lanka Convention Bureau organised a MICE promotion in Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata, during the week of 16th to 20th September, 2019.Positioning Sri Lanka as a preferred MICE destination and showcasing the opportunities to Indian travel trade, PCOs and MICE organisers, has been the major focus for this exclusive event. Top of the line travel trade & MICE professionals attended the event as well as interacted with the SLCB team that consists of 15 companies from Sri Lanka, to understand the unique offerings for Indian travellers in Sri Lanka.
India is an important market for Sri Lanka for developing MICE in terms of numbers, value and also connected services. The year 2018 saw 63,733 MICE arrivals in Sri Lanka as compared to 57,694 in 2017 and 53,510 in 2016. It is witnessed that there is an increasing trend of India MICE arrivals during the past years. Sri Lanka is growing as “a destination for all seasons”! The year 2018 saw a rapid increase with approximately 424,887 Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka, as compared to 384,628 arrivals in 2017 and 356,729 in 2016.
The country is a top-notch tourist destination and known as the Wonder of Asia for its long-preserved culture and heritage. Witnessing the growth and potential from India, SLCB has taken been taking various step for consolidating their presence in the Indian market. The following initiatives were taken by Sri Lanka to attract MICE travellers from India.
- State of the Art – Lotus Tower, which is the tallest tower in South East Asia with conference facility for 500 People
- Strengthen cooperation with large tour operators such as Thomas Cook,SOTC, Travel & Tours, FCM’s etc. who have large network of corporate working with them.
- The Ramayana trail, an ancient Hindu literary epic of India properly marketed with the objective of bring in large numbers of Indian visitors for Sri Lanka. The most popular Ramayana sites in Sri Lanka developed with proper infrastructure facilities and printed a Brochure with site details.
- Popularize Sri Lanka as fast-growing destination for weddings out of India. There are number of groups of wedding planners were facilitated to visit Sri Lanka to make aware them.
- As a Government arm of development MICE industry, SLCB organized industry participation at leading MICE trade exhibitions in India.
- Simplify visa procedure – Free arrival visa for Indian travellerstill 31st January 2020
Mr V Krishnamoorthy, Deputy High Commissioner, Sri Lanka to Southern India, who was present at the events in Chennai & Bengaluru, stated that Sri Lanka has gained immense popularity in India and has experienced a consistent growth over the period.
Sri Lankan MICE Delegation visited Chennai, and Bengaluru and today visited Kolkata to explore these markets, and tap the travel agents to increase the flow of MICE business.
Adding to this Mr Kumar De Silva, Chairman, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau mentions, “India is the largest & key source market for the development of MICE business to Sri Lanka. We have been extending our presence and our commitment to India market extends from North to South & East to West. With our current mission we are targeting key markets of India like Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai & Pune and also planning to be in Delhi soon. With extensive direct airlines connectivity of 121 flights per week from 11 stations in India to Sri Lanka and further complemented by SpiceJet, Indigo, and Air India, Sri Lanka becomes a easily accessible destination for MICE from India. There is an existing strong cultural bond and cooperation between Indian & Sri Lanka, which makes Indian travellers feel at home while they are in Sri Lanka.”
About Sri Lanka:
A landmark destination in the ancient Spice Trail, Sri Lanka is bursting with wonder. This tropical island is famous for its diverse landscape: from the blue seaside belt to green mountains, and the island’s lavish greenery ranging from coconut palm groves to paddy fields and tea plantations, adorn by over 200 natural waterfalls. One must explore Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches and visit the `Ramayana trail’ sites, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya and fascinating history of Dambulla. Be it family and leisure getaways, adventure and rejuvenation, Sri Lanka has all to explore.