Pakistan, promising market for Sri Lanka's meetings industry
PROMOTION: The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau together with
SriLankan Airlines and the industry members conducted a MICE ( Meetings,
Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions) promotion in Karachi on
December 5 at Avara Towers which was attended by over hundred potential
MICE buyers in Pakistan.
The chief guest of the occasion was the provincial, cultural and
Tourism Minister of Pakistan and the event was given wide publicity by
Pakistan TV. The Sri Lankan delegation was led by Chairman Sri Lanka
Convention Bureau Haniffa Ishak. Other members included General Manager
SLCB Vipula Wanigasekera and Director General BMICH Bandula Ekanayake
with Sri Lankan Country Manager Tony Thalayaratne joining in Karachi.
Sri Lankan MICE industry members who joined the promotion were Padmi
Fernando, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Dilshad Sadiq, John Keells Group,
Zainoor Adahan Connaissance Holdings, Arjun Dharmadasa and Imran Hassen,
Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services, Shafath Amidon NKAR Travels
and Tours, Eranka Saparamadu, ACE Conventions and Travels, Pandula
Weerakoon Oceanview Resorts, and Gemunu Amarasinghe, Jetwing group.
The promotion included presentations by SLCB and SriLankan Airlines
followed by interactive sessions for the members of the delegation to
meet and establish business contacts with Pakistan counterparts.
The programme also enabled the members to make prior appointments
with potential clients and have discussions before and after the
Pakistan has become an important market for Sri Lankan MICE industry
with the main attribute being the increasing awareness among Pakistan
MICE Operators, Meeting Planners, Incentive Houses and Corporates on the
facilities available in Sri Lanka in a wide ranging options.
The Bureau has conducted road shows with SriLankan airlines in
Karachi and Lahore in the past few years but last year, the promotion
did not take place due to the earthquake in Pakistan.
A number of special MICE promotions are scheduled for next year in
Pakistan and the Bureau is also planning to reach out to corporates
through presentations at trade and investment events in Pakistan.
It is envisaged that Pakistan MICE tourism into Sri Lanka will grow
over 8% every year with Sri Lanka becoming value for money destination
for Pakistan MICE visitors.
The MICE industry takes advantage on Sri Lanka's diversity to work
out special incentive packages using Nature, Culture and Adventure and
particularly the Pakistani visitors have been attracted to incentives
coupled with shopping, dining, and activity based packages etc.