News digest: tourism flying high, MICE mastery, Poland visitors boost
SriLankan Airlines boosts tourism with 11 new destinations
National carrier SriLankan Airlines will boost tourism from Asia-Middle East with 11 new direct-flight destinations: Lahore, Jakarta, Dhaka, Muscat, Kolkata, Madurai, Varanasi and Bodh Gaya in India, Bahrain, Seychelles and Gan in Maldives.
The Daily Mirror reports that of the 1,798,380 tourist visitors to Sri Lanka in 2015, 923,338 were from the Asia-Middle East region, “one of the fastest-growing travel markets in the world”.
The 11 new destinations include routes that generate business and leisure travellers, labour traffic, pilgrim traffic and passengers in transit to and from SriLankan’s global route network.
Three big MICE tourism events
The Sunday Times reports a significant November uptick for Sri Lanka’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) tourism sector, “the largest-ever grouping of business visitors in a single month”.
The biggest is “a mega meeting of representatives of Lions clubs from South Asia, Africa and West Asia in Colombo involving 2,500 delegates, the largest gathering-ever for a single MICE event”.
That follows the French travel agents congress, with over 300 agents and others, and a religious summit organised by the Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka with 300 guests including eight Cardinals and 176 Bishops.
Another boost in tourists from Poland
The Daily FT reports that Sri Lanka will see more tourists from Poland because “stability and a peaceful setting made Sri Lanka most attractive for Polish tourists”.
In an interview with Polish Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Joanna Wronecka, the FT notes that tourist arrivals from Poland, the EU’s sixth-largest economy, “have risen by 7.5% to 9,836 in the first nine months of this year”.
“Last year there were 13,245 Polish tourists though marginally down by 1% over 2014 in which year arrivals shot up by 38% making Poland the third-largest Eastern European source behind Russia and Ukraine.”
Tourism Fest 2016 to cap record-breaking year
Sri Lanka News says that “the upcoming festive season will be one to look forward to with … plans to attract both foreign and local tourists to the city of Colombo”.
It reports tourism minister John Amaratunga as saying that Tourism Fest 2016 will help Colombo “to be recognised as a city that comes alive during the festive season. Events of this nature will not only entertain tourists but will also be an attraction for the local community”.
This year’s will include daily musical shows featuring popular bands and artistes, a food festival, exhibitions of Sri Lanka’s tourist attractions, cultural shows, Christmas carols, fireworks displays and entertainment for children.
Inaugural Concert of Sri Lankan Cultural Dancing Shows
Sri Lanka’s official tourism website hails the glamour and vibrant postures of our traditional dancers, and announces plan to launch daily dancing evenings for foreign guests and tourists in Colombo.
It reports that Western Province Cultural Resort “has been established to develop a proud and righteous community enriched with taste and heritages of local culture and art, which appreciates the morals and lives with coexistence”.
“This programme can be identified as a successful beginning of promoting and publicizing heritages of local culture and art formed according to the local traditions while making them as a part of the life.”