For the first time Sri Lanka’s brand value of US$ 79 billion would surpass the country’s GDP of US$ 79 billion in 2015, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Rohantha Atukorale.
Speaking at a press conference to announce Sri Lanka’s participation at the world’s largest trade show, EXPO Milano 2015 from May 1 to October 15 in Italy, he said that this is due to the fact that Sri Lanka is being aggressively promoted by SriLankan Airlines along with Sri Lanka Tea Board, Export Development Board, Gem and Jewellery Authority, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the National Craft Council.
Commissioner General for Expo 2015, Atukorale said the government was really keen in participating in the event on an invitation accorded by the Italian government. He said that over 20 million would participate in the event with 120 countries participating. The exhibition under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, is a global cultural, educational and scientific event which aims to explore the global food and sustainable development challenge. He said that last year it was estimated that over 23 million foreigners have goggled and looked at Sri Lankan hotels. “With Sri Lanka’s participation at Milano Trade fair we expect this number to pass 70 million in 2015.”
The six month event will be structured under six themes . On tourism it will be ‘eight wonderful experiences in eight wonderful days. Minister of Sport and Tourism Naveen Dissanayake said for the first time Sri Lanka is being marketed in a much planned manner. “During the last six years the CESS fund was not properly used and some times the fund was used for election propaganda and personal work. “We lacked good governance and now we have turned around this negative senario and are working hand in hand with industry stake holders.”
He also said that Sri Lanka needs the GSP plus concession especially for the fisheries and apparel sectors and said that it was the stubbornness of the previous government that deprived this to Sri Lanka.
Italian Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Sabrizio Pio Arpea said that a special scheme would be offered to participants applying for Visa’s.
[ Via Daily News ]