Beyond the beaches for the MICE market

The cave temples of Dambulla date back to the first century BC and make a perfect side visit

SRI Lanka, which is positioned as ‘a land like no other’ is currently enjoying nearly 600,000 tourists from across the globe.

The country has successfully moved beyond beaches to culture, nature and adventure.
The MICE industry plays a key role in the overall tourism industry, bringing in an average of 14 per cent of the total visitors into the country. Sri Lanka is being increasingly identified as a venue for meetings with its modern infrastructure facilities compli-mented by conference and exhibition centres, deluxe hotel chains and the national airline, SriLankan.
The country will be host to a number of prestigious events, including the PATA annual conference in 2008, International Aid Conference in 2007 and Common-wealth Games Federation Conference in 2007.
Sri Lanka is also a destination for incentive travel, with the numbers of incentive travel groups on the rise. This is due to the amazing experiences on offer coupled with a diversity of products from beaches, ancient cities, wildlife sanctuaries and hill country tea plantations, all literally within a few hours of each other. Although Sri Lanka is well on the road to further modernization, the country and its people still cherish most of their traditional values and take pride in their rich culture, an aspect which continues to attract visitors from abroad.
The Sri Lankan Convention Bureau is a national tourism organization that functions under the Ministry of Tourism and is responsible for the development and promotion of MICE tourism in the country. It works with 40 professional members of the MICE industry, including professional conference and exhibition organisers, destination management companies, conference and exhibition centres, city and resort hotels, and tour operators.
As part of its role to promote Sri Lanka to the MICE market, the bureau will lead a delegation to IMEX 2006, the world exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, to be held from May 30 to June 1 in Frankfurt.