23 November 2017

Destination Reports


Sri Lanka eyes Gulf countries to double tourism numbers
November 2017 879

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is flying out to woo the Middle East outbound tourists with a promotional roadshow that saw a delegation of Sri Lanka Tourism officials, as well as Sri Lanka’s leading hotels and tourism stakeholders visiting the cities of Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar as part of an ongoing efforts to develop the number of tourists visiting the emerald island from the four GCC cities. The roadshows were launched in Kuwait as the first port of call moving on to the other cities in the region, attracting in excess of 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 were on-board as part of the roadshow delegation to promote the country’s unique hospitality services and attractions including; Aitken Spence Travels, Araliya Green Hills Hotel, Asian Adventures Travel Management Company, B.O.C Travels, Diethelm Travel Group, Exotic Global Holidays, Figco Lanka Holidays, Fun Holidays, Hamoos Travels, Hayleys Tours, Jetwing Travels, Mandarina Colombo Hotel, Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, Movenpick Hotel Colombo, NKAR Travels & Tours, Sunway Holidays, Tangerine Tours, Viluxur Holidays and World Travel Center Colombo. As part of the promotional activities Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Omani and Qatari travel agents and tourism professionals were briefed on the latest 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.”

Saudi Arabia provides the largest number of GCC tourists to Sri Lanka followed by Oman and UAE. In 2016, Sri Lanka received a total of 107,635 tourists from the Middle East region, attracting 13,268 Omani, 5,726 Kuwaiti, 2,887 Bahraini and 1,709 Qatari tourists to the island nation. Sri Lanka aims to double these numbers in the coming years.


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