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Sri Lanka targets Middle East market

DUBAI, May 6, 2018

Sri Lanka is looking to become the most preferred destination in Asia for GCC travellers, having received a total of 107,635 tourists from the Middle East region in 2017, up 6.5 per cent compared to 2016 arrivals.

As part of efforts to boost visitor numbers from the GCC, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau hosted a press conference at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai last month to showcase the diverse product offerings and experience spread across the small island.

The press conference was attended by John Amaratunga, Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism; Charitha Yattagoda – Sri Lankan Consul General – Dubai and Northern Emirates; Sutheash Balasubramaniam – managing director – Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau; Felix Srimal Rodrigo – advisor to tourism minister; Ajantha Rathnayake, assistant director - Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau; Asiri Wickramasooriya, country manager – UAE Sri Lankan Airlines and members of GCC media.

"Sri Lanka has much to offer visitors from the region with our distinctive, adventure-packed, eco-friendly, family-focused experiences and offerings, as well as our rich nature, heritage and culture, year-round schedule of festivals and special events, numerous parks and eco centers, luxury resorts and wellness centres, and romantic settings for honeymooners and couples. Our mission has done much to put Sri Lanka on the map and in the hearts and minds of Middle East-based travel partners, and in combination with future promotions planned for the country and the region, I’m confident we will see many more visitors from the region making Sri Lanka their next holiday destination of choice in the coming months,” said Amaratunga.

Currently, there are 70 direct flight services a week connecting the UAE to Sri Lanka, suggesting the potential to grow and develop the market further is great, especially as travellers from the country on average have one of the highest travel spends in the world.

Sutheash Balasubramaniam, managing director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, said: "The Middle East continues to be one of the fastest growing source markets for Sri Lanka. We believe that the potential of the Middle Eastern travel market is yet to realise in terms of attracting longer stay and higher spending travellers."

"It is our fervent hope to make Sri Lanka the most preferred destination in Asia for Middle Eastern travellers," noted Balasubramaniam. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: tourist | Lanka | SRI | Middle | East |

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