With strong leadership Sri Lanka tourism continues to project a sharp identity of brand Sri Lanka with some cutting edge work, this time around at the Arabian Travel Fair (ATM) targeting the middle eastern market that attracts over a hundred thousand tourists into Sri Lanka and nets in a revenue of around $175 million dollars per year for the country. This is one the best stalls I have seen commented Minister Dissanayake given the wild life theme that Sri Lanka tourism had taken for ATM 2015 that has attracted so far 231 top travel agents at day two staged at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.
Led by the Minister of Tourism and Sports Navin Dissanayake and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Chief Rohantha Athukorala the 56 strong travel and tourism organizations from the private sector focussed on grabbing a higher share from the middle eastern market that is today one of the most attractive markets for business globally for family travel. The Middle Eastern market is growing by 16.4% at 27,568 visitors as at end April 2015 which is a good indicator but we must become more aggressive to fill the hotel occupancy during summer months said Minister Dissanayake. Sri Lanka Tourism has already activated a robust campaign in the whole sale market with strong trade visibility since last February at the Riyadh Travel Mart followed up with Road shows in Damman & Riyadh and now we are planning on a marketing burst for consumer demand creation in the large hyper malls together with Sri Lanka Airlines said Chairman Athukorala.
We also want to objectively evaluate the achievements from ATM post the event and thereafter over a six month time period together with the private sector, so that we move to a ROI based marketing investment Athukorala insisted. I am happy to state that this year’s event is 6% more cost effective than last year, even though the exhibition space has been increased by 18% to 308 square meters to cater to the increased demand commented the Promotion Chief.
ATM this year is said to attract 23000 visitors in the region’s largest travel show case. The ministerial forum will be opened by HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz and HH Sheik Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan the Minister for Tourism and Antiquities. The theme for the event will be Family Travel and top professionals from all over the world will preside in panel discussions and guest speeches at the breakout sessions whilst normally the business billed runs to a staggering billion dollars said a tourism expert from the Middle Eastern and North African Regions( MENA).