Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau championed 18 top company representatives in the travel and hotel sectors operating in the Italian market to show case Sri Lanka Tourism at the BIT International Tourism Exchange held from 12th – 14th February 2015 at Fiera Millano, Italy.
BIT (Borsa Internationale Tourisme) is the largest exhibition in the world of the Italian tourist products and contains a comprehensive collection of the best international tourism products from over 120 countries with high recognition as an important meeting point of experts on tourism as well as on tourism service industries. The Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism bureau Rohantha Athukorala commented we are targeting to rev up the visitor arrivals from 22,000 to 27,000 visitors from Italy in 2015 and the business model of taking part at BIT was just only one of the initiatives. We will support it with visiting journalist programme and trade facilitation partnerships whilst also trying out new communication tools like film based marketing to achieve the said targets.
In the 2015 edition, diverse tourism products of Sri Lanka were showcased at Sri Lanka stand giving much emphasis on tourism attractions to create high level of consumer awareness of Sri Lanka to be a preffered destination among potential travellers. A press conference was held parallel to the fair, with the participation of more than 40 leading Italian media in print and electronic segments with the participation by the Sri Lankan contingent which was a first in many years said one veteran of the tourist industry. Sri Lanka Tourism presented a full review of country’s tourism attractions and its high potential to cater to Italian travellers at the press conference held highlighting the changing political landscape and increased private sector led policy making.
Italian market is one of the most important tourism generating markets to Sri Lanka in the Western European Region with nearly 22,000 tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka annually and this year the target being 27,000. Since BIT is considered to be an important tourism promotional event, Sri Lanka tourism has been participating at BIT regularly to create awareness and interest among the consumers and trade. One noteworthy change this year was that the chairman and the market Head Shirani Herath meeting the participants before the event in Sri Lanka and taking the finer views of how to improve the impact of Sri Lanka tourism in the market said one senior participants that has been going for the event annually.
Sri lanka Tourism bureau is currently evaluating the event with a quantitative and qualitative feedback from the industry participants and what is unique is that 100% of the participants confirm their next year participation which gives a snap shot of the business success not only on lead generation but some converting to real customer sales commented Sri Lanka Tourism BIT Team Lead – Shirani Herath.
Sri Lanka Tourism aims to achieve 23% growth in Italian market in year 2015. By participating at BIT Fair, SLTPB was able to gather all travel industry stakeholders to drive towards one direction in achieving this goal and Sri Lanka to be knows as the ” Island with a thousand treasures”.