While there is an uncertainty of Sri Lankan Airlines continuing to operate in Europe and several other destinations of choice, Sri Lanka Tourism today said it hopes to enter into strategic partnerships with new and existing Airlines connecting the regions capitalising on the “Open Sky” policy of the government of Sri Lanka.

“It is planned to develop strategic partnerships with all existing key airlines and work with new airlines like Austrian Air and Malindo Air and Air China who will have new operations to Sri Lanka. The tourism strategy has allocated budgets for working with airlines and strategic partnerships along with attracting charter flights,” Sri Lanka Tourism said in a statement.

Noting that positioning Sri Lanka as a venue for international and domestic events will be a key component of the 2016 marketing strategy, Sri Lanka Tourism said it hoped to stage internationally acclaimed tourism related events in Sri Lanka during next year such as Arugam Bay Pro- Surf, Kiteathelon,Adventure Tourism events etc. In the meantime more than 25 cultural /religious events and arts and entertainment events that has direct impact for tourism development will be conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism . The activities will be strengthened by increased monetary contribution in year 2016.

“The new tourism strategic marketing plan of 2016 will focus on the long term result oriented approach to develop tourism industry in Sri Lanka than serving short term goals.Supported by the strong presence of the newly appointed Tourism Advisory Committee, Prime Minister, Board of Directors ,Chairman, Hon.Tourism Minister & Deputy Minister and the Ministry Secretary, it is aimed at laying the foundation for a far sighted tourism development strategy based on the industry inputs garnered from decades of experience , analysing research findings and country’s competitive position while being attuned to constant challenges faced by soci-political and cultural environment in the world tourism landscape,” the release added.