Destination Sri Lanka was the cynosure of all eyes at the Indian International Travel Mart which took place in Bangalore last week. While Sri Lanka was singled out as the shining star at the event by the event organisers, the country also bagged two important awards – ‘MICE Destination of the Year’ and ‘Best Decorated International Pavilion’ at the mega event. The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga who was honored to have been invited as chief guest at the inauguration as well as the awards ceremony.
The Indian International Travel Mart is a leading platform for the sub-continent region to showcase both existing as well as new products to the International Travel community and is a highly anticipated event among the Indian travel trade. The event is of special significance for Sri Lanka as India is now the number one tourism source market for the country.
This year’s Indian International Travel Mart was of special significance as it was the 99th edition of the event. Sri Lanka Tourism was noted for its active participation with an attractively designed ‘Sri Lanka Pavilion’ that effectively communicated the diversity on offer in the country while also highlighting its position as one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world.
Meanwhile Minister Amaratunga held several important meetings with the Indian tourism trade on the sidelines of the travel mart.
During a meeting with the South India Global Tour Operators Association (SIGTOA) the Minister extended an invitation to the President of the Association, K.V. Kishore to hold their Annual Conference in Sri Lanka. Having accepted the invitation SIGTOA is now planning to hold the conference in Colombo in the second week of September this year.
Minister Amaratunga also met the Chairman, Travel Agents Association of India (Karnataka Chapter), M.S. Raghavan and GM, Thomas Cook India Ltd, Tanveer Ahmed, where the main topic of discussion was positioning Sri Lanka as the destination of first choice for Indian tourists
Source : FT