Asian News Makers
ANM News India Sri Lanka Travel

Tourism to be the next common ground between India-Sri Lanka relations!!

Neelam Jeena

India’s Travel Association Vows to Revitalize Sri Lanka’s Tourism Industry

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), a prominent travel-related association, has pledged its commitment to help revive Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. At the 67th convention of TAAI themed “Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives,” held in Colombo recently, delegates from both countries expressed solidarity and resolved to strengthen tourism ties between India and Sri Lanka.

TAAI president said that TAAI brought over 500 leading tour operators across India to Sri Lanka for the TAAI 67th Convention in addition to over 50 journalists from all over India.

Mahen kariyawasam, Chairman Organising Committee of 67th TAAI Convention, Sreeram Patel, Treasurer TAAI, Jay Bhatia Vice President TAAI were also present at the head table addressing the media.

Jyoti Mayal, President of TAAI, emphasized the shared cultural heritage and similarities between India and Sri Lanka in her address. She underscored the significance of tourism in bridging communities and countries, extending TAAI’s support to Sri Lanka in its efforts to revive tourism beyond the convention. Mayal urged TAAI delegates to take a pledge to actively contribute, in their individual or institutional capacities, to attract tourists to Sri Lanka. The collaboration between TAAI and Sri Lanka’s tourism bodies, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the Sri Lankan Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), was recognized and commended for their support in organizing the convention.

Strengthening the Tourism Sector

Sri Lanka, which experienced a severe economic crisis last year compounded by unprecedented floods, has been making comprehensive efforts to recover and rebuild its tourism industry. The country witnessed a significant increase in international tourist arrivals in 2022, with 719,978 visitors recorded, reflecting a 270.2% surge compared to the previous year.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the convention’s opening ceremony and proposed transforming the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region into a “borderless tourism” area. Wickremesinghe highlighted various projects, including the development of golf courses and resorts, aimed at accelerating Sri Lanka’s recovery and growth.

India-Sri Lanka: Civilizational Twins

Gopal Bagley, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, described the two nations as “civilizational twins” during his address at the inaugural ceremony. The close historical and cultural ties between India and Sri Lanka form a strong foundation for collaboration in various sectors, including tourism. The presence of dignitaries such as Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena further emphasized the robust bilateral relationship between the countries. Abeywardena expressed deep gratitude to India for its support during Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, acknowledging India as a trustworthy friend that prevented further turmoil and bloodshed.

Jyoti Mayal continued to support the revival efforts of Sri Lanka and to hold the much-delayed convention this year, without changing the venue to another country. We are extremely grateful for the patience and commitment of TAAI,” said Harin Fernando Tourism Minister. He said Mayal’s commitment and support extended to Sri Lanka Tourism was very encouraging.

Jyoti Mayal – TAAI President

“This convention shall not only strengthen bilateral tourism ties between the two countries but will act as a catalyst in reviving the travel industry for both countries. We shall create opportunities to sell products of Sri Lanka as a tourism destination but also shall be promoting Incredible India to local Sri Lankan stakeholder partners. Every destination that has played host to the TAAI Convention in the past has seen tourist numbers surge at least quadruple, since our members serve as ambassadors of tourism. This Convention is the right opportunity for improving bilateral tourism,” said TAAI President Jyoti Mayal.

She said “I am truly delighted to receive such an overwhelming response from the industry ever since we have announced the Convention in Sri Lanka. In the present scenario, there is an immediate need to build on our regional strengths and to explore more opportunities for growth in travel and tourism between both countries. SLTPB is looking forward to showcasing their products and services to the Indian stakeholder partners, who shall boost bi-lateral Tourism into and from Sri Lanka. We have survived a tough phase and now have embarked on the revival journey with positivity and vigor. Our mission is to build trust and confidence to deal with the challenges that exist in the new normal and move forward with a unified strategy for future sustenance through collaborations. Our Convention logo, theme, brochure and the entire program will revolve around building a positive vibe and brainstorming to find ways and means through which the global tourism fraternity is coming together to embrace synergies for a brighter future”

Related posts