By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry will be planning to make Sri Lanka a year-round tourist destination, with measures to be taken to promote the tourism sector attracting more high end travelers from European countries including the Netherlands.
A short term tourism promotion plan is now being implemented on the drive is now underway on the directive of President Ranil Wickremasighe before the revising of the tourism target to 2.0 million in 2023 from an earlier 1.5 million.
This was resulted in on the back of better trends seen in the first quarter, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Priantha Fernando said.
“Based on the arrivals last year we set a target of 1.5 million tourists about six months ago. But with this SLTDA will be revising it to 2 million,” Fernando said adding that the target for March 2023 was only 90,000, but we have exceeded that to d 112,991 tourists,
He said this was the first time since 2019 that we have welcomed more than 100,000 tourists for the third consecutive month.
Under this set up, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Netherlands in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), recently organised a successful briefing for over 50 tourism industry representatives.
It was attended by Dutch Government officials, media professionals, tour operators, travel agents, travel bloggers, social media influencers, travel journalists, TV professionals, and airline representatives.
The Embassy was aimed at highlighting the latest developments in Sri Lanka including valuable insights on the country’s unique attractions and experiences.
Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja expressed her gratitude to the industry representatives for their continued support and accentuated the uniqueness of Sri Lanka as a combination of the “Whole of Asia in one Island”, which is compact, diverse, accessible and is now popular.
Menken Maritime founder Bernard Menken relayed his decades’ long friendship with Sri Lanka on business cooperation and stated Sri Lanka is his preferred holiday destination, recalling Dutch history and its rich cultural heritage as a major attraction for the Dutch travellers.
Andrew Travel Company Sri Lanka Managing Director Mahen Kariyawasan during his presentation described the uniqueness of Sri Lanka’s tourism product and stated that Sri Lanka is back on track once again for welcoming all demographics of travellers.
Emirates Airlines Sales Executive Mathieu Hastman was hopeful that Emirates, currently operating two flights daily to Colombo, will soon be back to pre-COVID regularity, offering greater connectivity between Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
The tourism industry representatives in attendance expressed their appreciation for the timely briefing and their eagerness to resume travel to Sri Lanka. They commended the Government’s efforts to prioritize the safety and well-being of tourists and pledged to promote Sri Lanka as a top tourist destination in the Netherlands.