Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga presenting a token to a member of the SNAV delegation in the presence of Convention Bureau General Manager Vipula Wanigasekara and Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa
Tourism in Sri Lanka received a double boost when a delegation representing the two biggest travel associations in France confirmed that both their annual conventions will be held in Sri Lanka later this year.
The good news was conveyed to Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga last afternoon when a delegation representing both associations called on him to inform him of the decision.
The two French travel associations that will be holding their annual conventions in Sri Lanka are Syndicate National Des Agents de Voyages (SNAV) and Selectour Afat Group. SNAV earlier indicated its decision to hold its convention in Sri Lanka but it is the first time that Selectour Afat Group has also confirmed that its annual convention too will be held in Sri Lanka.
Both conventions will take place in the last week of October this year and nearly 800 delegates are expected to attend the sessions that are to take place in Colombo, Negombo and the Cultural Triangle.
Amaratunga said that this was a major boost for tourism. “Last year we had 80,000 French nationals that visited Sri Lanka. This was a 13 percent improvement from the previous year. With this new development, this year will see a significant improvement in the numbers from the French market. This is a market that was neglected for a long time and I’m glad that it is getting the due attention now.”
The minister requested the members of the delegation that comprised of SNAV Vice President Richard Soubielle, SNAV Secretary General Jean Marc Roze and Selectour Afat and SNAV Director Bernard Garcia to work towards rebuilding old ties and put Sri Lanka back in the forefront in the French travel market.
SNAV comprises of 3,800 sales outlets and its mission is primarily to act in the interest of the travel and tourism industry in France.
Created in 1945, this professional organisation is the sole interlocutor with the authorities for travel agents and distributors. Its aim is to ensure economic and social stability of the tourism and travel industry in France and Europe. As such, SNAV works closely with the major federations and tourism institution and is a permanent member of European Association of Travel Agencies (ECTAA) and UFTAA.
Selectour Afat Group is a leading network of independent travel agencies in France comprising of over 500 travel companies and over 1500 outlets spread throughout France and overseas. It is a recognized distributor of travel on the French market, both in the field of tourism and business travel. The group’s negotiating power with suppliers enables it to offer the best price to customers independently.
The group was born from the merger of two long established networks in France in January 2010. Selectour Group was created in 1971 and AFAT Travel was founded in 1989. The member agencies maintain their autonomy and the network is structured as a cooperative.
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