The Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife & Christian Religious Affairs and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau has taken several high impact initiatives to recover the tourism industry. One of the important activities taken was to invite the key international Travel Trade Associations of tourists generating markets to visit Sri Lanka to recover and rebuild the image of Sri Lanka Tourism to counter the economic fallout of the 21/4 incident. Immediately after the, foreign Tour Operators stopped selling Sri Lanka due to security concerns and negative travel advisories resulting cancellation of planned tours to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Tourism industry has recovered far better than any other country facing similar situations. The Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife & Christian Religious Affairs Hon John Amaratunga said “We reached out to Presidents and the Chief Executives of all the key International Travel Associations in early June this year to help the destination and asking them to visit the country on a fact finding mission to see how the destination is open for business and welcoming visitors. Germany is a very important market for us, in the past for many years it has been the number one market for Sri Lanka”
On the invitation of Hon Minister, several Travel Associations such as Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association UFFTA and Travel Agents Association of India TAAI already visited Sri Lanka and the Italian association ASTOI and the Belgium association ABTO are visiting the country over the next month with the UK associations also planning visits.
A high powered delegation headed by the President of DRV Mr. Norbert Andreas Fiebig and 9 Committee Members along with the FVW Media will be visiting Sri Lanka shortly. According to Mr. Norbert Andreas “Our delegation consisting of high ranking members of Germany´s tourism industry, most of them organized in DRV´s Technical Committee on Outbound Tourism, they are very much looking forward to the visit to Sri Lanka.
We want to picture and express what Sri Lanka is and how the destination has coped this year and are eager to see and hear about Sri Lanka´s recovery. And we will build up on these impressions. It is our aim to talk to local tourism industry and governmental institutions about ways to market Sri Lanka effectively on the German source market. If all goes well, we will be back next year with our DRV´s Destination Forum accompanied with approx. 60 Travel Agents and the number 1 German Tourism Trade Magazine in an effort to boost booking numbers from Germany”. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions SLTPB believes that arranging a familiarization tour of high level delegation of DRV being the largest travel association in Germany would help Sri Lanka Tourism greatly.
According to the Managing Director of SLTPB, Ms. Charmarie Maelge “Sri Lanka Tourism has had amazing support from all of our overseas trade partners and also from the consumers- world over to bring back the destination to be a highly popular and a much demanded holiday destination. The international travel associations the Minister reached out to confirmed and accepted the invitations to visit us on familiarization visits. After the visit of the Travel Agents Association of India, they decided to have their Annual Conference in Sri Lanka this year, similarly we hope that the DRV will also have their Destination Forum in Sri Lanka”
The local media will be given an opportunity to meet the delegation followed by a tailor made tour itinerary for the group. The Promotion Bureau is looking forward to receiving this high profile delegation to carry out measures to boost German tourists travel arrivals to Sri Lanka with the support of the tourism trade in the country. Sri Lanka received 156,888 German arrivals in 2018 and up to Sep 2019 the arrival number from Germany remains 93,886. Germany in 1993 and 1994 has been the number one tourist generating market for Sri Lanka. Germany has been the No: 1 tourism market for Sri Lanka from 1986 onwards up till 1995.