Sri Lanka Tourism conquers the Mediterranean

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By 2017-02-16

Sri Lanka Tourism showcased its splendour, in the Mediterranean by participating in the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) Travel fair which was held from 7 to 8 February in Tel Aviv, Israel, amidst a colourful atmosphere. Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Israel, P. Selvaraj and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Israel gave their support to make it a success. The 2017 fair was the 23rd edition of IMTM. It was established in 1994.

The Sri Lankan pavilion drew the attention of visitors with its creativity and wide range of tourist attractions which Sri Lanka has to offer, such as nature, wildlife, cultural festivals, heritage, ancient cities and monuments and mouth-watering Sri Lankan cuisine including herbs and spices which are similar to those used in the Mediterranean not forgetting Ceylon Tea.

The pavilion was opened by the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin in the presence of the Sri Lankan delegation represented by Minister of Tourism Development, Christian Religious Affairs and Lands, John Amarathunga, Advisor Felix Rodrigo, Ambassador P. Selvaraj, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Managing Director, Sutheash Balasubramaniam and Asst. Director, Ajantha Rathnayake by lighting the oil lamp. The Israeli Tourism Minister was also given a token of appreciation by Minister Amarathunga. The purpose of Sri Lanka Tourism participating at the fair was to showcase the benefit of selecting Sri Lanka as a holiday destination giving the opportunity of being exposed to a world of beauty. It also enabled to promote Sri Lanka Tourism in the Middle East, Sri Lankan products, Ceylon Tea and
one-on- one meetings with Israel tour operators.

Parallel to the fair, a meeting was held between the tourism ministers of the two nations, Ministry officials, SLTPB MD Balasubramaniam and Asst. Director Rathnayake. The discussion included having direct flights between the two countries, promoting tourism and strengthening bilateral ties further.

Ten travel agents participated in the Sri Lankan delegation such as Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka, NKAR Travels &Tours Pvt Ltd, Shums Holidays ( Pvt Ltd) Amc Holidays Pvt Ltd and Hayleys Tours Pvt Ltd. The fair set a platform to increase contacts with their Israeli counterparts and develop business relationships.

IMTM 2017 is the largest annual professional and official exhibition for the tourism market in Israel which provides global exposure and business and travel opportunities for the tourism sector where Sri Lanka has been a regular member. Up to December 2016, 10,391 tourist arrivals has been reported from Israel, while it has shown a 33.4 increase compared with the same period in 2015.

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