Sri Lanka’s participation at the Marine Diving fair held from April 6th to 8th in Tokyo, Japan was another important attempt to highlight its potential in the tourism sphere. The colourful Sri Lanka stall depicting the water sport activities and underwater images attracted many Japanese visitors, curious to know what Sri Lanka has to offer with its pristine beaches, and many water based sports activities including whale watching, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Sri Lanka participated at the fair in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo, and industry stake holders specialized in water based tourism activities, namely Tour Blue (Pvt) Ltd and Club Waskaduwa (Pvt) Ltd. Kalpa Gunasinghe, Market officer, (Japan) represented SLTPB at this event.
Apart from water sports and water based activities, Sri Lanka offers a large number of marine resources around the country which may not yet have been exposed to the world. They include different varieties of exotic underwater flora and fauna and shipwrecks in the southern coast, which dates back to world war II and as well as to colonial era. The islands’ strategic location in the Indian ocean offers unique opportunities to promote the Sri Lanka as one of the major marine based tourist destinations in the Indian ocean. The coastal areas and the natural harbours are valuable natural resources with the Marine eco system which are highlighted aspects in promoting Sri Lanka as a Marine based tourist destination.
Japan is an important source market for Sri Lanka, and conducting promotional activities like these will further enhance the growth of the tourism sector and create a platform for the industry members to expand their business network with Japan.
The Marine Diving Fair is conducted as an annual event since 1993, with the aim of popularizing water based activities. The fair has now become much larger, and holds international events in Asia. Over the years, watersports have gained popularity throughout the world and Sri Lanka has become a favourite hotspot for water based activities.
The Marine Diving fair is supported by Japanese government and over 200 exhibiting companies from 50 countries and regions, including diving resorts,
Tourism Boards, Airlines, Hotels and Manufacturers participated at the event. The total number of visitors for all three days were recorded as 50, 598, which highlighted the fair as an important event in the annual Japanese tourism calendar.
Sri Lanka’s participation at the Marine Diving fair 2018 will create positive benefits for the Sri Lankan travel industry, enabling to attract Japanese travelers interest in water based tourism activities. During the month of March, tourist arrivals from Japan has recorded 14,586, which is an 8.4 % increase compared with the same period last year.
(Courtesy : Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau)