Negombo will soon be a hub for MICE (Meeting Incentive Conference and Exhibition) tourism in Sri Lanka, said Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) committee member and Sancharaka Udawa, Organising Committee Chairman, Imran Hassan.
He said that Negombo will be a hub for MICE tourism due to the varied pricing and accommodation opportunities offered by hotels in the area.
The close proximity to the airport is a major advantage for the boom in tourism in Negombo.
The World Crocodile Conference was hosted at the Goldi Sands Hotel, Negombo from May 20-23 proving the potential of the area to host major international conferences.
The crocodile conference was attended by world renowned crocodile specialists, biologists, wildlife managers, government officials and researchers.
Negombo, on the western coast of the country is known for its serene and charming beaches and resorts and it draws tourists from all over the world. The town is popular for ceramics and brassware. The place is famous among travellers for the freshness of its sea food. Hassan said that tourism industry will grow at a rapid pace achieving its targets but there has to be a level playing field for all stakeholders of the industry.
“The tourism industry has to be competitive with a reasonable pricing structure,” he said. Currently the hotel room rate per day in Sri Lanka is $ 183. Industry experts are of the view that if Sri Lanka is to attract more visitors it has to be competitive with regard to room rates. SLAITO accounts for around 90 percent of the inbound tour operations in Sri Lanka. The Association has around 130 members. SLAITO Vice President Zerney Packeer said that the Association accounts for around 60 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the country.
Sancharaka Udawa, a tourism product meet mart organised by SLAITO with Sri Lanka Tourism will be held at the BMICH on June 14 and 15.