15 leading travel and tourism professionals from Sri Lanka focused its efforts on a future development market of South Korea to promote Sri Lanka at the World Travel Fair – KOTFA 2015 staged in Seoul from 10 to 14 June 2015. The market is worth 14 million travelers with a per capita income of twenty-five thousand dollars in the back drop of Sri Lanka tourism arrivals growing by 26.1% last month with Korean Market increasing by 16.7% whilst tourist earnings touching a billion dollars for the country which augurs well for the country amidst elections in the offing.
What was unique for Sri Lanka tourism was that all the top professionals from the World of Tourism were personally present at the opening of the Sri Lanka pavillion which included KOTFA Chairman Shin Joong Mok, KOTFA President Hong Ju Min, Executive Secretary General UNWTO Xu Jing and PATA CEO Mario Handy.
I commend the industry for the resilience and passion to drive Sri Lanka as a tourist destination looking at the future voiced the Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala. Sri Lanka has seen the tourism industry perform in the last twenty-five years at very difficult times and we continue to see the leadership it gives to the economy he said.
On behalf of Sri Lanka Tourism we commit strong marketing support to penetrate this attractive market worth 14 million travelers and current volumes are at just 13,000 voiced Athukorala who led the delegation together with the President of SLITO Mahen Kariyawasam whilst the other members included John Keells, Browns Tours, Jetwing, Aitken Spence that constituted the 15 top professionals from the industry.
The Sri Lanka delegation went out to the market and met the key land operators in the industry, the top officials of the airline industry and also embarked on two road shows in Seoul which attracted 36 travel agents from Korea and 24 travel agents from Busan which is centered on Bhudhist tourism said SLITO President Mahen Kariyawasam. I am happy that the leadership of Sri Lanka Tourism is interested in building new markets for the country than just relying on Europe and selected markets like in Asia. We must make this a 100,000 market within two years agreed chairman Athukorala.