Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau participated for the 48th edition of the world’s largest travel trade show, International Travel Brochure (ITB) 2014 at Messe Berlin fairground from 03rd to 09th March 2014 in Berlin-Germany. Representing Sri Lanka, 120 representatives from top 60 travel and tourism agencies and hotel sector took part in this event, making this event to be the one with the largest number of participants ever from Sri Lanka. At the ITB 2014 travel trade show 10,147 tourism companies from 189 countries represented on a display area covering 160,000 square meters. The Sri Lanka delegation to Berlin is led by the Director General of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Dr. D.S. Jayaweera and The Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany, Sarath Kongahage with the officials from both institutes.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), under the leadership of Basil Rajapaksa the Minister of Economic Development, has identified Germany as a key market among the traditional tourist markets of Sri Lanka, actions were taken to set up an attractive stall in the ITB, inclusive of all the tourism products related to the market of Germany. Accordingly this year Sri Lanka Tourism stall was specifically designed in order to showcase major attractions favored by German travelers. The tourism stall has given much focus on promoting Sri Lankan Ayurvedic products, Sri Lankan wildlife, beaches and heritage to the German tourists. The Sri Lanka stand was ceremoniously opened on 05th March with the participation of key industry stakeholders of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is aiming to generate a revenue in the excess of US$ 4.2 billion from the tourism industry by 2016. In addition the country hopes to attract 2.6 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Sri Lanka is already experiencing attractive number of visitors to the country and the annual growth rate of arrivals last year being 26.5% comparative to previous year. From Germany 85,470 travelers were received in 2013 recording 20% overall growth with the revenue generated from this segment being US$ 170 million. By 2016 the strategic development plan aims to attract 130,000 visitors from Germany in order to achieve the set target of 2.6 million tourists.
Sri Lanka also signed the bid papers to be the host country for the ITB Berlin in 2016, one of the biggest travel and aviation exhibitions in the world. The CEO of Messe Berlin, Dr. Christian Göke, the organizer of the event visited the Sri Lankan stall at the ITB and discussed at length on this bid. This year the host country of the ITB was Mexico which saw the entire ITB being decorated with promotional material from Mexico. The partner country/host country of the 2015 ITB is Mongolia and 2013 Partner country was Indonesia.