Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, (SLTPB) in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan, organized a Familiarization Tour (FAM Tour) for a delegation of Japanese tour operators/ agents representing 20 Japanese companies. The main purpose of their participation at this FAM Tour was to convey the message to the rest of the world and their fellow citizens that Sri Lanka is a safe and an attractive destination for tourism, filled with a myriad of holiday opportunities to choose from. The FAM Tour was organized on a request made by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan.
Considering the importance of attracting more tourists to Sri Lanka, and creating more awareness about the destination, it was decided to showcase Sri Lanka tourism products to the foreign consumers, by giving them the opportunity to experience a tour in Sri Lanka, with the purpose of attracting more Japanese tourists and encouraging them to promote the destination among potential travelers as the best destination to visit during the holiday season. Further, Travel Agents Familiarization Tours have been identified as an important activity to invest on the trade, as they are the main point in promoting the country to the travel community who seek the advice of an agent in organizing their tours.
During the FAM tour, the delegation visited places such as Negombo , Sigiriya, Minneriya Wild life park , Namal Uyana, Dambulla Cave temple, Temple of the sacred tooth relic , Kandy , and Colombo, from 26th November to 30th November 2019. Moreover, a B2B event was held with the local DMC’s and their Japanese counterparts at the Hilton Colombo, on 29th November 2019. Ms.Charmarie Maelge ,former Managing Director SLTPB , Mr.Dushan Wickramasuriya, Director Marketing ,and Mr. Kalpa Gunasinghe , Junior Manager and officer in charge of the Japan Market, represented SLTPB at this event.
After the Easter Attacks in April 2019, Japan imposed a travel advisory on 26th April 2019 at level 2 banning Sri Lanka to Japanese traveler. On 25th June 2019, Japan released level 2 up to level 1 and it is important to convince Japanese travelers to reconsider Sri Lanka to travel. Considerable influence can be used through these DMC’s in Japan to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination for the Japanese citizens. The Japanese delegation was highly impressed with the opportunity they were given to travel and explore around Sri Lanka and its exclusive holiday opportunities to offer the enthusiastic traveler and explorer.
The B2B session with Sri Lankan travel agents gave them the opportunity to develop new business contacts to further promote the Japanese market.
Up to October 2019, tourist arrivals from Japan were recorded as 24,524, whereas it showed a change of 35.3 % compared with the same period last year. Total tourist arrivals from Japan up to October 2018 was 42,135.