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Sri Lanka Tourism organized a series of Roadshowsin four German cities this year as the second step of a promotional campaign which started in 2015,to showcase the country as a unique tourist destination. In 2015, the first step of the roadshows was held at six most populated German cities including Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Berlin. This year, the second series were held at Cologne, Dortmund, Hannover and Bremen, and this promotional activity started on the week starting from 12th September, till the 15th.The events conducted in afore mentioned metro cities were followed by B2B meetings with Sri Lanka Trade delegation, bringing travel industry stakeholders into one platform.
All participants in Hannover
The events were graced by His Excellency Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Sri Lanka Ambassador for Germany.The distinguished guests included Mr. JurgenWeerth- Honorary Consul of Dortmund and Cologne, Mr. Claus Holtmann- Honorary Consul of Hannover, Mr. Klaus Kriwat representing the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Bremen and Lower Saxony.
The honorable presence of senior German state officials including Mr. Ralf Pospich, from the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Transport of Niedersachsen, Mrs. Ulrike Hiller, State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and Development Cooperation, and Mrs. Kerstin Lührßen- Deputy Chief Protocol of Bremen. Mr. Nihal Samaharasinghe, Honorary Consultant to the Minister of Tourism alsoattended the event held in Dortmund added value to the promotional campaign.
Hon Consul of Sri Lanka for Dortmund & Cologne, Mr. JuergenWeerth addressing the gathering at the head table in Dortmund
The roadshows were organized to promote Sri Lanka as the preferred Asian destination to the Germans. The events were participated by German outbound tour operators. Thus, the events proved to be an excellent opportunity to facilitate new business partnerships with the German counterparts.During the promotional campaign, His Excellency, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Sri Lanka Ambassador for Germany, expressed his views on the long standing relationships between the two governments.
Managing Director, SLTPB presenting the Sri Lanka the destination promotional presentation
Mr. Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, by making a destination presentation, highlighted the diversity, authenticity and compactness to position Sri Lanka in the minds of the German participants as a unique destination in Asia. The positive comments which were made by several German participants at the roadshow proved the fact how Sri Lanka has become a popular tourist destination across the globe.The German counterparts were excited to see the colorful attractions depicting cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes and the diversity, which encouraged them to explore the destination.
Mr. Nihal Samarasinghe, Honorary Consultant to the Minister of Tourism at the opening ceremony
During the promotional campaign, Sri Lanka tourism was able to receive positive feedback from the German counterparts. The overall rating given for events, highlighted a positive impact while the suggestions included more improvement on promotional activities.
Mr. Claus Holtmann, Honorary Consul of Hannover, gave an excellent and a picturesque overview of Sri Lanka as a compact, versatile and manifold Island at the roadshow. He gave his expression as thus:
‘I have been to Sri Lanka several times with my family. The screen saver on my laptop changes every time you open it. One morning, a picture of a whale comes up, then a beautiful landscape, a beach or monument of Sri Lanka. I can only underline what you have just seen in the presentation. Sri Lanka is so versatile, compact and manifold.’
Mr. Clus Holtmann, Hon Consul of Hannover addressing the gathering.
Mrs. Ulrike Hiller,the State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and Development Corporation, specifically mentioned that both nations have the same aims in promoting tourism. He further mentioned that he was glad Sri Lanka had developed so well and become a safe destination and is able to present its beautiful features in the world.
Jürgen Becker, Representative of the BCD Travel recommended Sri Lanka as an ideal travel destination;
“After travelling Sri Lanka in the 1980s, I am quite excited to go back next year and explore the changes in the country. But after my experience back then it is recommendable at any rate. We also do a lots of business Travel to Sri Lanka because we have got lots of clients who work in the textile industry.”
Mr. Lam- KannNaichun, a representative from the Pacific Travel, expressed his ideas on the compactness of Sri Lanka as a characteristic of a perfect travel destination, when compared with the other countries in the Asian region;
“We are dealing with lot of tourism to India and do not sell many trips to Sri Lanka yet. But we can clearly see the advantages of the country compared to its bigger neighbor: Sri Lanka is very compact and a tourist can do many different things in one day. A traveler has to catch three or four flights in order to see a fair bit of the country, they could just travel by car, bus or train and see a cultural highlight and the beach in one day. In addition, Sri Lanka is still a lot more affordable than India.”
Ms. Tanja Altenwirth, representative of DEPART, also recommended Sri Lanka highlighting the compactness of the country;
‘It was really interesting evening. We know now that we could promote Sri Lanka again. I didn’t know about its many facets, from wildlife to beach, from culture to food. Years ago, we would sell a package including a Sri Lanka round trip but then send the clients to the Seychelles beach. There is no need know seeing that Sri Lanka got all this one. A big selling factor obviously being the stable political situation which is not the case in many other tourist countries.’
Apart from these remarks,the representatives of the Sri Lankan travel associations had given their input for further improvement of the industry.
This promotional campaign which was carried out by Sri Lanka Tourism not only enabled to create a positive impact among the German counterparts but also generated an interest to the Sri Lankan tourism sector, enabling Sri Lanka to become one of the most sought after destinations across the Asian continent.
Sri Lanka Tourism branded giveaways and booklets
B2B in Cologne
Participants in Hannover
Meetings in Dortmund
B2B meetings held at Bremen
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