Does Sri Lanka have what the GCC want?

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is set to launch a promotional road show that will see a delegation of Sri Lanka Tourism officials, as well as Sri Lanka’s leading hotels and tourism stakeholders, to visit the cities of Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, as part of an on-going effort to develop the number of tourists visiting the island from the four Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) cities.

This promotion kicked off last night in Kuwait and will continue to other GCC cities until 18th October 2017 and is expected to attract up to 50 of the leading travel and tourism companies in each of the cities.

A total of nineteen industry partners from Sri Lanka-based tourism and hospitality entities will join the road-show to promote the country’s unique hospitality services. As part of the promotional activities Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Omani and Qatari travel agents and tourism professionals will be provided the latest information and updates on Sri Lanka’s touristic offerings through presentations, workshops and a series of business development meetings.

Ms. Madubhani Perera, director of marketing commented, “Sri Lanka is one of the preferred destinations for Gulf tourists as we offer a distinctive, adventure-packed, eco-friendly, family-focused experience and offering. With our rich nature, heritage and culture, year-round schedule of festivals and special events, numerous parks and eco centres, luxury resorts and wellness centres, Sri Lanka has many reasons for GCC families to return to Sri Lanka again and again.”

During 2016, Sri Lanka received a total of 107,635 tourists from Middle East region where 13,268 Omani Tourists have travelled to Sri Lanka while 5726 Kuwaiti tourists, 2887 Bahraini tourists and 1709 Qatari tourists visiting the country,  Sri Lanka aims to double these numbers and achieve 20% increase from Middle East region.

Saudi Arabia make up the largest number of GCC. tourists to Sri Lanka followed by Oman  and UAE as second and third largest number of GCC tourists to Sri Lanka.

Ms. Perera further commentated “Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar remain integral target markets for Sri Lanka’s tourism development. The upcoming road show is one of many major activities Sri Lanka tourism conducts to ensure that key international travel agents maintain a close awareness and link with Sri Lanka’s tourism industry partners, in order to mutually expand the business opportunities between both, while offering their clients quality tourism experiences. Through such a mission to four GCC countries our expectations are that travel to Sri Lanka from these markets will continue to grow and thrive, reinforcing Sri Lanka’s status as a world-class destination for eco-tourism, cultural and family tourism.”

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