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Sri Lanka strikes a promising high at Travel Fair in Italy

Travel News from Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) along with a contingent of 20 leading industry travel trade representatives participated at the renowned Italian tourism Fair TTG Incontri 2019 which was held in Rimini, Italy from 09th-11th October 2019.

To increase the brand awareness, Sri Lanka Tourism advertised during the TTG Fair including the mega entrance banner with country’s branding and two other pavilion pathway banners depicting tourism attractions appealing to Italian travelers. Sri Lanka Tourism also advertised on TTG Daily with two double spread advertisements and articles spreading across the three days of the travel show.

The Sri Lanka Country Pavilion depicted the new branding “So Sri Lanka” at the Exhibition and the renowned accolade of the World’s number one country to visit in 2019 endorsed by Lonely Planet. The stand was visited by many travel trade participants. Ceylon tea was served at the Sri Lanka pavilion that was attractive to many visitors. Sri Lankan delegates met responded to inquiries of planning promotions for the destination to better attract the Italian clients.

The officials of Sri Lanka Tourism and Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome ceremonially opened the Sri Lanka Tourism Pavilion at the TTG Incontri Travel Fair. Ms. Charmarie Maelge –Managing Director of SLTPB, Ms Barbara Rebora – Official Fair Organiser of TTG, Ms. Sarangi Thilakasena –Head of Eastern Europe SLTPB, Ms. Ameena Mohin – Minister Commercial & Ms. Laura Kristeen -Commercial Assistant of Embassy of Rome with the Sri Lankan travel industry delegates inaugurated Sri Lanka stands at TTG Incontri on 09th October.

Speaking at the stand opening ceremony, Ms. Charmarie Maelge noted that’’ Sri Lanka will remain to be country loved by Italian travelers and it has not lost its charm and beauty as a tourism destination. As a country, we are coming back even stronger and we expect to attract an increasing number of travelers from Italy with our planned promotions for the upcoming months”. She said.

Sri Lankan representatives also participated at the official opening ceremony of the TTG Travel Fair held with the participation of the State Secretary for Culture & Heritage in Italy Ms. Lorenza Bonaccorsi and Mayor of Rimini Ms. Andrea Gnassi. The Sri Lankan officials invited the Italian officials to visit Sri Lanka and collaborate to develop closer tourism & trade relations between the two countries.

At the second day of the Travel Fair, Sri Lanka Tourism conducted a press conference for the Italian journalists to increase destination awareness among the consumers. The Press Conference was held under the patronage of His Excellency Daya Pelpola, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Rome, Ms. Charmarie Maelge Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism, Mr. Francesco Veneziano VP Commercial of Sri Lankan Airlines Italy and other representatives from Sri Lankan travel trade. Delivering the welcome speech H.E. the Ambassador Daya Pelpola mentioned in detail of the attractiveness Sri Lanka holds as a travel destination for Italians.

The Ambassador went on to elaborate as to why the Italians should travel more to a long haul destination like Sri Lanka and experience the different cultural, historical and social aspects of the country that contains memorable experience for any traveler. Ms. Charmarie Maelge during her country presentation highlighted the steps taken by Sri Lanka Tourism to thrive in the Italian markets specially highlighting the focused promotions to be launched targeting the potential travelers.

Speaking on the airline connections, Mr. Francesco Veneziano VP Commercial of Sri Lankan Airlines provided a full overview of code-sharing flights operated by Sri Lankan Airlines and the ease of access to the destination with the availability of well-networked flights to Colombo. The head table representatives also answered the questions raised by the media at the end of the press conference helping them to better understand the country and the current situation. The event was attended by a large number of media representing leading media, travel evangelists, influences, bloggers from leading media houses, magazines, newspapers, radio channels, TV channels etc.

TTG Travel Travel Fair is more than a travel trade show in Italy, it is a unique platform to discover the latest trends in the travel industry, meet professionals and experts from all over the world and grow network and business. TTG Travel Experience is the most important and effective business-to-business exhibition in Italy.It is a structured networking tool through which you can find opportunities, explore content and trends in the worldwide industry, and take part in a profitable commercial matching program for Destination all over the world.

The show offers tradition and innovation in tourism under the same roof. The leading travel agencies from Sri Lanka including Aitken Spence Travels, Walkers Tours, Jetwing, Crystal Holidays, Esna Holidays, Authenticities, Unique Paradise Travels , Ceylon Roots, Ayubowan Tours, Relax Lanka, Tropical Asia, Sunway Holidays, Clover Lanka, Wanderlust Asia, Scandi Lanka, Go Travel Fix, Avro Travels ,Kanwel Holidays, Explore vacations represented Sri Lanka at the show and interacted with Italian travel and tour operators and visitors, introducing their travel packages, offers, attractions and the facilities.

In the year 2018 Sri Lanka received 2.3 million tourists in total with an annual growth rate of 10.3 %. During year 2018 total number of 38,000 Italian tourists visited Sri Lanka. From January to September 2019, more than 26,500 Italian visitors visited the country despite the 21/4 impact on the tourism industry. Sri Lanka Tourism has introduced many initiatives to revive the tourism industry including Ensured safety and security, Visa fee waiver for 48 countries including Italy and reducing Airline landing costs, Airline fuel charges , Embarkation fees etc.

The momentum created at the TTG Incontri Travel Fair will be carried forward by the planned promotional activities for the next few months in the Italian market including advertising (outdoor advertising, metro advertising, billboard advertising), Joint Promotional activities with tour operators and Global TV advertising campaigns.