Sri Lanka Tourism showcased its splendor in the Mediterranean by participating at the IMTM (International Mediterranean Tourism Market) Travel fair which was held from 7th to 8th February in Tel Aviv, Israel, amidst a colorful atmosphere. H.E P . Selvaraj , ambassador for Sri Lanka in Israel, together with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Israel gave its full support in making this attempt a success. The 2017 fair was the 23rd edition of IMTM, established in 1994.
The Sri Lankan Pavilion at the fair drew the attention of the visitors with its usual creativity, attractiveness, and the wide arrange of tourist attractions which Sri Lanka has to offer, such as nature, wildlife, cultural festivals, heritage, ancient cities and monuments which dates back to thousands of years, authentic and mouth-watering Sri Lankan cuisine including herbs and spices which are quite similar to those used in the Mediterranean , also not forgetting a sip of the famous Ceylon Tea.
The Pavilion was declared open under the patronage of Hon. Minister of Tourism in Israel, Mr. Yariv Levin amidst the distinguished presence of the Sri Lankan delegation represented by Hon. Minister of Tourism Development, Christian Religious Affairs and Lands, John Amarathunga , Mr. Felix Rodrigo , Advisor for the Hon. Minister, H.E P. Selvaraj, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Israel, Managing Director , Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau , Mr. Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Dinesh Weerakkody Tourism Advisory Board And Manoj Cooray Director BOI, Anne Ameratunga PRO to the Minister of Tourism. and Asst. Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Mr. Ajantha Rathnayake , by lighting the traditional oil lamp. The Israeli Tourism Minister was also given a token of appreciation by Hon. Minister John Amatrathunga.
By participating at this fair, the purpose of Sri Lanka Tourism was to showcase the benefits of choosing this beautiful paradise island as a wonderful holiday destination, giving the opportunity of being exposed to a world of magical and serene beauty. It also enabled to Promote Sri Lanka Tourism in the Middle East, Sri Lankan products, Ceylon Tea, and one to one meetings with the Israel Tour Operators.
In parallel to the fair, a meeting was held between the Tourism ministers of the two nations, ministry officials, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Mr. Sutheash Balasubramaniam , Asst. Director , SLTPB, Mr. Ajantha Rathnayake. The discussion included having direct flights between the two countries, promoting tourism and strengthening the bilateral ties further.
10 Travel Agents participated in the Sri Lankan delegation such as Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka, NKAR Travels & Tours Pvt Ltd, Shums Holidays ( Pvt Ltd) Amc Holidays Pvt Ltd and Hayleys Tours Pvt Ltd. The fair by no means set a platform for them to increase contacts with their Israeli counterparts and develop their business relationships.
The IMTM 2017 is the largest annual professional and official exhibition for the Tourism Market in Israel which provides global exposure and Business &Travel opportunities for the Tourism sector, in which Sri Lanka has been a regular member. Up to December 2016, 10, 391 tourist arrivals has been reported from Israel, while it has showed a 33.4 increase compared with the same period in 2015.
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