Sri Lanka targets ME travelers as a unique island destination – Saudi Gazette

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau revealed at Arabian Travel Market Media Center that in its ongoing efforts to develop new markets and increase the number of visitors and spend from the region to Sri Lanka it will have renewed focus on the Middle East markets.

A delegation of 51 Sri Lanka-based tourism and hospitality companies visited Arabian Travel Market in Dubai to develop tourist arrivals and demand. Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga, Sri Lankan Consul General – Dubai and Northern Emirates Charitha Yattagoda, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Advisor to Minister Felix Srimal Rodrigo, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Assistant Director Ajantha Rathnayake, Country Manager – UAE Sri Lankan Airlines Asiri Wickramasooriya attended.

In 2017, Sri Lanka received a total of 107,635 tourists from the Middle East region with 6.5% growth increase compared to 2016 arrivals. Currently there are 70 direct flight services a week connecting UAE to Sri Lanka suggesting the potential to grow and develop the market further is great, especially as travellers from the country on average have one of the highest travel spends in the world. This will result in not only return dividends for Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industries, but also for the retail industry.

Amaratunga said, “Sri Lanka has much to offer visitors from the region with our distinctive, adventure-packed, eco-friendly, family-focused experiences and offerings, as well as our rich nature, heritage and culture, year-round schedule of festivals and special events, numerous parks and eco centers, luxury resorts and wellness centers, and romantic settings for honeymooners and couples. Our mission has done much to put Sri Lanka on the map and in the hearts and minds of Middle East-based travel partners, and in combination with future promotions planned for the country and the region, I’m confident we will see many more visitors from the region making Sri Lanka their next holiday destination of choice in the coming months.”

Sri Lanka is growing as a ‘destination for all seasons’. It is a unique island destination, which is different from other island destinations as it combines everything into one compact place in the most authentic way for visitors to experience.

Balasubramaniam said, “The Middle East continues to be one of the fastest growing source market for Sri Lanka. We believe that the potential of the Middle Eastern travel market is yet to realize in terms of attracting longer stay and higher spending travelers.”

“It is our fervent hope to make Sri Lanka the most preferred destination in Asia for Middle Eastern travelers. Sri Lanka offers travellers an array of diverse product offerings and experience spread across the small island and caters to all ages,” noted Balasubramaniam. — SG

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Source URL: Travel – Google News

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