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Sri Lanka Showcases Tourism Potential at Arabian Travel Market 2024 in Dubai

May 18, Colombo (LNW):Sri Lanka made a significant impact at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 in Dubai, highlighting the country’s attractions and offerings. Organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), the Sri Lanka pavilion showcased the nation’s unique tourism potential to a global audience.

Arabian Travel Market, one of the leading global events for the travel and tourism sector, attracted over 41,000 attendees and featured 2,300 exhibitors from 165 countries. This year’s theme, “Empowering Innovation – Transforming Travel through Entrepreneurship,” set the stage for showcasing cutting-edge developments in the industry.

The Sri Lanka pavilion was inaugurated by key dignitaries, including the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UAE Udaya Indrarathna, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and Northern Emirates Alexi Gunasekera, and Chairman of SLTPB Chalaka Gajabahu. With over 60 travel agents, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and leading hotels and resorts from Sri Lanka participating, the pavilion aimed to attract the diverse and cosmopolitan market of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and international visitors.

In a bid to enhance air connectivity and facilitate seamless travel experiences between the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Emirates Airlines at ATM 2024 on May 7. The MoU was signed by the SLTPB Chairman and Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West Asia and Indian Ocean, in the presence of Tourism, Lands, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Harin Fernando, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in the UAE, and the Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and Northern Emirates.

A press briefing by Minister Fernando highlighted Sri Lanka’s tourism potential and collaborative efforts with UAE stakeholders to boost tourist arrivals. He announced significant progress in re-establishing the tourism industry post-Covid-19, supported by airlines. Minister Fernando also highlighted the recent opening of the luxurious ITC Rathnadipa hotel in Colombo and the availability of several other high-class hotels and 700 villas across the country, offering personalized experiences and diverse adventures for tourists.

Ambassador Udaya Indrarathna emphasized coordinated efforts to enhance Sri Lanka’s tourism industry sustainably. Consul General Alexi Gunasekera highlighted the UAE’s importance as a hub for luxury, independent, leisure, and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism, underscoring the value of events like ATM for networking and sharing best practices within the industry.

SLTPB Chairman Chalaka Gajabahu invited everyone to experience Sri Lanka first-hand under the new destination branding “You will come back for more,” reinforcing the country’s appeal as a premier travel destination.

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