Destinations

Here’s why it’s worth meeting in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country that is experiencing formidable growth in the tourism sector, and is well-positioned to become one of Asia’s prominent MICE hotspots.

The country has demonstrated amazing resilience in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday terror attacks to make a “remarkable” recovery and be “very much open for business”, according to Sri Lanka’s Minister for Tourism Development, John Amaratunga.

It’s prospects for MICE tourism in Sri Lanka have also recently been strengthened by a confluence of many factors, ranging from major infrastructure developments to positive policy changes facilitating the growth of the sector.

Sri Lankan Convention Bureau’s objective is to capitalise on its positives and tap into the full potential of the MICE tourism in Sri Lanka by 2020, in line with the tourism strategic plan adopted by the government of Sri Lanka.

Perhaps the main factor differentiating Sri Lanka from other regional competitors in the MICE market is the rich diversity it offers from a tourism perspective, with outdoor, cultural, experiential and culinary experiences all in abundance.

From stunning natural landscapes and wildlife, to activities such as horse riding, snorkelling, surfing, diving, whale watching and, fishing, Sri Lanka provides the ideal setting for team building and motivational programs.

Surfing in Sri Lanka

More importantly, all these experiences can be accessed within a few hours’ drive from each other.

At the same time, rapid infrastructure development projects have been carried out across all major towns and cities across Sri Lanka, further facilitating the country’s MICE growth by creating ample options for meeting and event planners. These include high-end hotels, convention centres, highways and connectivity.

Sri Lanka’s efforts to grow its MICE offering hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with a slew of international events lined up for the country over the next two years.

These include the 13th International Conference of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies 2019, Asia Cash Cycle Seminar2019, the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation Asia Pacific Chapter Conference 2019, the International Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 2019, The Asian Association of Open Universities Annual Conference 2020, the 42nd Asia Pacific Dental Congress 2020, and the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2021.

Australia is also shaping up to be a key market for Sri Lanka’s MICE sector, with SLCB chairman Kumar De Silva recently telling Travel Weekly that flight connectivity and convenience for travel between the two countries continue to improve.

“Australia has recently become Sri Lanka’s fifth-largest inbound market for tourism, and it is evident that the MICE industry would be an extension of that,” he said.

Recognising the golden opportunity that Australia presents, the SLCB is gearing up to showcase the very best of what it has to offer Australian MICE professionals with a unique roadshow series.

Visiting Melbourne on Tuesday 3 September, followed by Sydney on Thursday 5 September, the roadshow series which will give meeting and event planners, corporate travel experts and their clients a taste of what makes Sri Lanka incredible, from its beautiful and unique venues, to its rich culture and delectable cuisine.

The roadshows will also offer attendees valuable B2B networking sessions with several Sri Lankan organisations, including SLCB and SriLankan Airlines. Plus, attendees will also have the chance to win a stack of prizes!

So, what are you waiting for? Click HERE to register your interest in tasting the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer in the MICE sector.

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