ATM helps Sri Lanka to source large number of visitors from Middle East

Sri Lanka Tourism leveraged the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) complemented by three road shows, B2B and industry meetings in Dubai last week in a major push in the Middle East market.Sri Lanka was showcased as an attractive holiday destination at the 24th Arabian Travel Market (ATM) which took place from April 22 to 25, 2018 at the Dubai International Exhibition & Convention Centre. Sri Lanka participated for the 16th consecutive year at the event with more than 60 industry participants.

The Arabian Market is important for Sri Lanka as it helps to source a large number of visitors from the region. During the month of March 2018 there were 15,894 tourist arrivals from the Middle East. The event coincided with three roadshows which were held from April 17 to 19 in UAE by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in collaboration with the Sri Lanka consulate in Dubai. This was the first time SLTPB organized three consecutive roadshows in UAE.

The attractive Sri Lanka pavilion at the ATM was the center of attraction and drew large crowds. It was declared open by Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga. The Sri Lankan delegation to the ATM included Senior Advisor to the Minister, Felix Rodrigo, Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates, Charitha Yattegoda, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sutheash Balasubramanium and Assistant Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Ajantha Rathnayake.

A press conference was held parallel to the travel fair to keep the international media well informed about the new developments in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the many attractions for the Middle Eastern travelers.

The Minister also held discussions with a cross section of industry professionals on boosting bilateral tourism traffic. The B2B meetings which were held on the sidelines of the fair proved to be fruitful and had a positive impact especially in encouraging investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 is the largest annual exhibition for the tourism trade in the Middle East. Sri Lanka Tourism has been participating at this event since 2003 along with members of the travel and tourism industry.

ATM now facilitates $2.4 billion in industry deals and attracts 2,800 exhibitors from 86 countries and over 26,000 influential visitors.