An eventful year for SriLankan MICE
SriLankan Airlines becomes the official carrier of more than 70 major events
Colombo June 27, 2014: At a time when Sri Lanka is progressively becoming a much sought-after destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events, SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka and the newest member of oneworld alliance, has become the official carrier of more than 70 MICE events this year. Participants of these prestigious events were offered special discounted air fares, thereby encouraging them to seek Sri Lanka as a venue for future events.
Among the line-up of events in the MICE calendar of SriLankan Airlines, ‘‘Futurex International Glass Expo-2014’’, to be held in October is expected to attract many participants from the world over. Having received 868 overseas participants, with the biggest contingent from India numbering to 640, this year’s event is expected see an increase of participants.
SriLankan Airlines Regional Manager- Sri Lanka and the Maldives Mr. Saminda Perera said, “Sri Lanka is strategically positioned between the two regions where the highest tourism growth is projected, and at a time when the country is experiencing a massive development drive and many investors seeking business opportunities, Sri Lanka’s potential as a MICE destination has certainly improved. We see a gradual growth of tourist arrivals in the country and as the national carrier, we will exploit every opportunity to the best of our advantage to attract more high-end tourists and corporate travellers.”
SriLankan Airlines in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is implementing a long-term plan to uplift Sri Lanka’s profile as a MICE destination in order to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming a premier tourist hub in the Indian ocean in the near future. On its way to achieving this target, the second international airport in Sri Lanka, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) was opened last year in the southern coastal town of Hambantota. With many international hotel chains such as Shangri-La and Sheraton planning to make their presence in the island and the flurry of development activities taking place in the region, SriLankan MICE offers a wide variety of products and services to choose from. From idyllic settings amidst salubrious central hills and beachside meeting places overlooking the mesmerising Indian ocean to trendy cosmopolitan conference locations and convention centres, Sri Lanka is a place that has a setting for any kind of an event.
SriLankan Airlines, MICE Promotions Manager, Ms. Chantal Samarasinghe said, “SriLankan Airlines has been involved in many MICE tourism activities, through which, we have been able to attract many corporate travellers from Asian, Middle Eastern, European and Far Eastern markets. With our entry into the oneworld alliance, SriLankan is looking for greater expansion opportunities and as the national carrier, we view this as a vital opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a destination for business travel with fully-fledged meeting places, luxury accommodation and a wide variety of excursions.”
SriLankan Airlines is the official carrier of the 2nd Sri Lanka Intervention Meeting that was held in April, organised by the Sri Lanka Heart Association. This was the official event that focused on the subject of Interventional Cardiology held with over 200 international delegates in attendance. It included lectures, panel discussions, symposiums, audio-visual presentation of cases, workshops and live case demonstrations.
In addition, INTRAD/AROGYA EXPO 2014 held in May this year, received over 275 overseas visitors and the 12th Congress of the South Asian Academy of Ophthalmology to be held in October this year, is expected to attract more than 400 overseas participants.