With ever increasing tourist arrivals from The Netherlands and Belgium, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) successfully concluded two road show events in Amsterdam and Belgium to promote the Island to potential tourism industry stakeholders of both regions. Sixteen industry members from Sri Lanka joined the bureau to meet and contract with potential agents and operators from both countries to meet the increasing demands of tourist arrivals from the region.
B2B sessions taking place at NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed invitees from various tour operators, travel agencies, DMCs, MICE experts and media at the NH Grand Krasnapolsky hotel in the heart of Amsterdam on 15th March 2016. The event had been inaugurated by lighting the traditional oil lamp amidst the sounds of ‘magul bera’ by invitees and industry members from Sri Lanka. The Ambassador for Sri Lanka in The Netherlands, His Excellency A. M. J. Sadiq delivered the welcome speech with a brief introduction to the long standing Dutch connections and its heritage sites still remaining in Sri Lanka for visitors to see.
A beautiful addition to the event was the presence of the title winner of Ms Tourism Sri Lanka International, Miss Netherlands herself. A very candid and bubbly person who shared her experiences of Sri Lanka from the heart with the invitees who were not only mesmerized by her beauty but a true endorsement for Sri Lanka from one of their own.
Director marketing addressing the gathering in Amsterdam
Madubhani Perera, Director Marketing at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in detail presented to the audience the authentic, diverse and unique tourism products, attractions and experiences available in Sri Lanka to a traveller. She also highlighted infrastructure growth in the country to support our arrival targets, accessibility, international chains starting up operations in Sri Lanka and endorsements received by a number of top rated travel publications for the destination.
photograph of Sri Lankan operators and invitees from The Netherlands
The Netherlands has been growing since 2015 as a source market for Sri Lanka Tourism with numbers increasing at a pace of almost 50% for the first two months of 2016. “Sri Lanka is excelling in tourism however, markets such as the Dutch travellers are emerging and growing at a remarkable pace and this is the ideal time to not only promote the destination in this region but also to create a platform for Sri Lankan industry members to span out their business” said Madubhani Perera, Director Marketing of the SLTPB.
Country presentation session at Pullman Hotel in Brussels, Belgium
The road show in Brussels was held on 17th March 2016 at Pullman Hotel with proceedings similar to that of The Netherlands followed by networking sessions with the Sri Lankan companies and the invitees. The event was graced by His Excellency Rodney M Perera the Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Belgium who went on to further elaborate the uniqueness of the Island as a tourist destination and the importance of the Belgium market as a source market for Sri Lanka Tourism. The event was also attended by the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Belgium Mrs. Monique De Decker-Deprez.
B2B sessions in Belgium
The highlight of both events was the attendance of over 60 travel industry stakeholders from each country for the B2B meetings with the Sri Lankan operators and hoteliers held at each event. It was a complete success where a number of potential business contracts were made. Media coverage was also received by a number of media personnel who attended the events, giving Sri Lanka prominence on a number of online and offline publications.
This was the first time a business forum of sorts has been organized in the Benelux region and Sri Lanka Tourism was able to create awareness, interest and promote the destination amongst those who are able to bring in the arrival numbers. Aitken Spence, Jetwing Travels, Walkers Tours, Vivanta by Taj, Shangrila’s Hambanthota resort & spa, Airwing tours, Journeyscapes Travels, Andrew the travel company, Connaissance de ceylan, Sunway holidays, Galle face hotel, Sri Lanka holidays.net, Ayubowan travels and tours, Lanka Sportreizen, Ratnaloka Paradise tours and Ceylon tours were the Sri Lankan industry partners who joined the road show events.
Group photo of Sri Lankan companies and invitees from Belgium
Sri Lanka being an all year around tourist destination has made the Island a desirable place to the vast variety of tourist categories in the region. Sri Lanka has become a new discovery as a destination in both markets, mainly as it is a safe destination to visit due to the inability to travel to destinations in the Mediterranean.
His Excellency Rodney M Perera, The Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Belgium addressing the crow