An interactive meeting with the Italian Travel trade industry stakeholders by John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs was held at the Consulate General in Milan on (31st March) on the side-line of Borsa Internazionaledel Turismo (BIT), which took place from 02nd to 04th April in Milan, Italy.
Over 50 participants comprising travel agents, Destination Management Companies, professionals and businessmen in travel trade were present at the Interactive Meeting. The objective of the event was to promote Sri Lankan tourism industry, and to offer a platform to exchange ideas, network, explore business prospects, and to promote the country to potential tourism industry stakeholders, tour operators and travel related agencies in Italy.
Speaking to a cross section of invitees, the Minister emphasised that since BIT is considered to be an important tourism promotional event, Sri Lanka has been participating at the Fair regularly to create awareness and interest among the consumers and trade. He further remarked that it would no doubt help to re-position Sri Lanka in Italy as the most sought after travel destination in Asia. The Minister also spoke of the conducive environment prevailing in the country for the Italian market and said that Sri Lanka Tourism anticipates to launch series of market development programmes in Milan, Turin and Verona which consist of media FAMs and Road Shows.
Responding to the queries posed during the Q and A session regarding the strategic plans of Sri Lanka Tourism for the Italian market, the Minister said that the trade and media familiarization tours will continue to be a major component of the marketing plan while traditional promotional activities such as participating at travel fairs, conducting road shows and outdoor promotions will also be carried out in each country. However, this will be focused and implemented based on the need analysis, the Minister said.
With regard to suspension of Sri Lankan Airlines to Europe and several other destinations of choice, Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to enter into strategic partnerships with new and existing Airlines connecting the regions capitalising on the “Open Sky” policy of the government of Sri Lanka, the Minister explained.
The event was organized in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome, Consulate General in Milan and the SLTPB.