The Italian city of Milan was a hive of activity as the BIT Travel Fair came alive in the month of February. This annual Italian Travel and Tourism Fair is the largest exhibition in the world for Italian tourist products and a thorough show of the best the international market has to offer.
In the run up to the event, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau ran campaigns at main railway stations across Italy, including 8 railway stations with 7 of them being in Milan, with eye-catching backdrops and posters that bring out the best Sri Lanka has to offer. The So Sri Lanka brand identity was showcased all over Milan to coincide with the roadshows there and in Bologna as well. The promotional campaigns were carried out with the assistance of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome and consulate in Milan, Italy. The campaign added hype ahead of Sri Lanka’s participation at the BIT, where a number of visitors had mentioned the banner campaigns.
Distinguished guests at the opening ceremony
BIT stands for "Borsa Internazionale del Turismo" ("International Tourism Exchange") and is the reference point for all Tourism System Leaders, with the activities spread out on three days, with each one devoted to a particular theme.
Roadshows in Bologna
Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome together with the Sri Lanka Consulate in Milan, Italy represented Sri Lanka with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and 19 travel industry members. Sri Lanka had one of the most eye catching and alluring stands which was specifically designed by Colorcom Allestimenti FieristiciSrl in Italy for this show. Visitors who were warmly welcomed were treated to a steaming cup of Ceylon Tea whilst the market officers spoke at length of Sri Lanka’s famous attractions, history and proud cultures.
In discussion with industry partricipants
Mr. Daya Pelpola, the Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Italy ceremoniously opened the Sri Lanka Pavilion with the presence of Deputy Consular General for Sri Lanka in Italy and the officials of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, officials of Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome, officials of Sri Lanka Consulate in Milan on 10 th Feb. the first day of the event by cutting a ribbon with the industry members. Monitoring MP Harshana Rajakaruna also participated at the event.
Distuinguished guests at the headtable
Taking into consideration the importance of Italy as one of the emerging tourists generating markets in Europe, Aitken Spence Travels, Ceylon Roots, Golden Isle Travels, Jetwing, Diamond Leisure, Crystal Holidays, Ayubowan Tours and Travels, Camlo Lanka Tours, Walkers Tours, Airwing Tours, Heritance Holidays, Ceylon Tours, Edlee Tours & Travels, Relax Lanka Tours, Explore Vacations, NKAR Travels & Tours (Pvt) Ltd., E-Turismo Lanka, Kamvelta Travel and Tours and SriLankan Airlines participated as the co-exhibitors.
The Sri Lanka stall
The co-exhibitors at Sri Lanka stand who represented Sri Lanka Tourism industry said the event was a roaring success as it enabled them to strengthen existing businesses and establishing new contacts throughout the fair. The public and trade visitors also took a keen interest in Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and their response was extremely positive. The positive progress achieved by Sri Lanka at BIT 2019 confirmed its position as an important marketing instrument in the region for the local tourism industry.
Visitors at the fair
Since BIT is one of the most important travel and tourism promotions in Italy at which Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau regularly takes part, all the Sri Lankan participants recommended that SLTPB should continue to participate at the same while searching other effective travel and tourism opportunities in order to promote the destination amongst the visitors, both trade and consumer from the non-traditional European markets to create awareness of the tourism products available on offer.
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