Sri Lanka Intensifies Tourism Promotion in India, Targets Kolkata as Key Market

Sri Lanka Tourism is intensifying its promotional efforts in India, with a particular focus on Kolkata as a key market. On July 10th, 2024, Sri Lanka Tourism will host a networking evening on a cruise over the Ganges, bringing together Kolkata’s travel agents, industry leaders, and media with a strong delegation from Sri Lanka, including the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB). The event aims to strengthen ties between Sri Lanka and India, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships in the tourism sector.

This event marks a significant step in Sri Lanka’s strategy to further engage with the Indian market. The country has witnessed a significant increase in Indian visitors, with 198,161 Indian tourists visiting from January to July 7, 2024. This surge in Indian tourism is a testament to Sri Lanka’s growing appeal as a destination.

Earlier in June 2024, Sri Lanka conducted B2B roadshows and networking events in Indore, Vadodara, and Surat, targeting travelers from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. These events aimed to attract more visitors and position Sri Lanka as a year-round destination, highlighting its diverse attractions and tourism progress. The events also served to reinforce connections with India, showcasing the strong relationship between the two countries.

Honourable Minister Harin Fernando expressed gratitude to India for its continuous support in Sri Lanka’s tourism development. He highlighted Sri Lanka’s economic progress and impressive tourism earnings, which exceeded $2 billion in 2023 and surpassed $1.25 billion by April 2024. With a goal of attracting 2.5 million tourists in 2024, Sri Lanka launched a global marketing campaign, “You’ll Come Back for More,” and promoted its attractions at major international events.

Chalaka D. Gajabahu, Chairman of SLTPB, emphasized tourism’s significant contribution to Sri Lanka’s economy and its growth beyond beach tourism to include sports, culture, spirituality, and history. Sri Lanka has strengthened its presence in India with B2B roadshows and participation in major travel trade shows, and has also targeted the West and Middle East. Thisum Jayasuriya, Chairman of SLCB, highlighted Sri Lanka’s rise as a preferred MICE destination, with enhanced venues and accessibility attracting corporate events. The MICE sector saw success with the 3rd MICE expo in May 2024, and India remains a key market for MICE travel, aiming for significant revenue growth.

The networking evening will showcase Sri Lanka’s stunning landscapes, vibrant cultural heritage, and welcoming atmosphere, encouraging travelers to revisit this captivating island destination.

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