Sri Lanka Tourism showed it’s a holiday destination worth visiting by showcasing its local splendor at the New York Times Travel Show, which is the largest consumer and trade travel event in North America. It gave the US citizens quite a surprise to see the valuable resources which the paradise island had to offer. The New York Times Travel show was held for the 14th consecutive year from 27th -29th January 2017, at the Jacob K. Javits convention center in New York City. Sri Lanka Tourism participated at this mega event in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in USA. The Sri Lankan delegation included Deputy Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Hon. Mr. Arundika Fernando who graced the event giving a boost to promote Sri Lanka as all across the globe as a major tourist destination, along with other officials. Representatives from the Sri Lanka Embassy in New York included H. E Dr. Rohan Perera, and Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. A.S Kahn. H. E Dr. Rohan Perera is also the permanent representative of the UN. Sri Lanka Tourism was represented by Mr. Chameera Peiris, Assistant Director, with members of the travel and tourism industry. The purpose of this participation was to make the US travel agents, travelers and tour operators aware of the destination and also to inspire those who are planning to explore new destinations.
The 2016 show was patronized by 28,442 travelers and industry professionals, making 2016 the best attended show in nearly a decade, where Sri Lanka has been a regular member.
The Sri Lankan pavilion was an attractive sight to see with it’s warm colors, natural bliss, wild life and its exquisite beaches. During the event, brouchers , and promoting tour packages were distributed among the visitors , which were compact and attractive, where the participants could flip over the pages being informed about the cultural and natural wonders of Sri Lanka in detail. The finest Ceylon tea as usual was a unique item throughout the whole event.
As one of the highly developed countries, USA brings more value to Sri Lanka’s tourism market. Sri Lanka tourism hopes to achieve its main target of attracting 2.5 million tourists at the end of 2017. The fair also enabled the buyers and sellers communicate directly with no third party and to conduct interviews with media and Travel agents and promote Sri Lanka as one of the most important Tourist destinations among it’s competitors. Deluxe vacations, Eco – Team Sri Lanka, Lanka Holiday Destinations (Pvt) Ltd, Aitken Spence Travels, Lanka Holidays. Net, Lanka Vacations (Pvt) Ltd, Ceylon Express I’tnl, Air wing Tours Ltd, Dammika Travels and Tours, and Bernard Tours participated in this event.
In 2016, a total of 54,254 tourist arrivals from USA were reported which was a 14.9 % growth year on year.