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Sri Lanka wins bid to host PATA Annual Summit

7 September 2015 02:45 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka has been selected to host the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Summit in 2017 in response to the bid submitted by Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau (SLCB).

PATA CEO Mario Hardy made the announcement at a major event hosted by Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) and SriLankan Airlines in Bangalore at Vivanta by Taj on September 05.

At the event, Sri Lanka was presented as the latest tourism and MICE tourism destination in Asia to the hosted buyers of PATA attending PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore as well as over 100 Indian tourism and MICE buyers.  “I would like to take this wonderful opportunity to announce something special. It is an honour and a pleasure for me to announce that the PATA Annual Summit in 2017 will take place in Negombo, Sri Lanka” PATA CEO Mario Hardy said.
Negombo was chosen out of the four options given—Negombo, Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Bentota/Beruwala.

“In the last few months, we have been working on getting a few major tourism events to Sri Lanka and PATA was one such conference which will bring in over 300 international tourism professionals into Sri Lanka,” 

Hardy added.

SLCB CEO Vipula Wanigasekera who attended the event in Bangalore, not only PATA Annual Summit will offer the opportunity for Sri Lanka travel and tourism industry to showcase their products and services, but also PATA will publicise Sri Lanka through their communication channels over the next two years. 

“We are eying for one more major event which we cannot divulge due to nature of competition. We are hopeful it will also come to Sri Lanka” Wanigasekera said. The event in Bangalore was attended by SriLankan Chairman Ajith Dias, Sri Lankan Inbound tour Operators Association President Mahen Kariyawasam, members of Sri Lanka Professional Conference and Exhibition organizers (SLAPCEO) and travel and senior officials of  SLCB and SriLankan Airlines.
At the event, SLCB CEO Wanigasekera presented reasons for the phenomenal growth of tourism and MICE tourism and why this trend would continue in the coming years.

He presented the factors that attribute to the unique memorable experience that the visitors— be they leisure or MICE— take back from Sri Lanka.
According to Wanigasekera, these factors through word of mouth have helped Sri Lanka’s tourism industry without a major advertising or PR campaign, which is expected be launched soon.

Apart from Sri Lanka being a MICE location, Wanigasekera presented the finer attractions that can entice special niches of travellers which are projected in the marketing campaign beyond the 8 wonderful experiences. 

Story lines in locations, ship wrecks, the largest living creatures witnessed from one land, Port Tarshish in the First Testament presumed to be in Galle, hot water wells that said to be prolonging life spans taking out illnesses, location for spiritual seekers were among the lesser known attractions presented at this event to hundreds of international 

tourism buyers.  SriLankan Airline General Manager, Commercial Operations Dimuthu Tennakoon presented the latest plan for growth and the markets that the national airline would be tapping while SriLankan Chairman SriLankan Airlines Ajith Dias welcomed the guests explaining the Government policy towards the development of the national career.

 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region and The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 87 governments, 31 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 61 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific 
and beyond.
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