Realizing the importance of the Indian corporate meetings and incentives, the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) revived the joint promotions with SriLankan Airlines with the approval of the Tourism Minister Navin Dissanayake and the first such country promotion of MICE for this year took place in Hyderabad recently, at Taj Banjara with multiple activities namely press conference, industry one-to-one meetings and evening interactive session.
Over 100 Indian MICE buyers based in Hyderabad attended the event while both print and electronic media covered the event and the message of Sri Lanka on MICE potential stories was carried by the newscasts from the same day. Reactivating the agreement with SriLankan Airlines, the SLCB took the full advantage of the strength of the national airline Hyderabad office to use their network and organise this event, which was attended by the heavy weights in the MICE industry viz Chairman SLCB Udaya Rupasinghe, CEO Vipula Wanigasekera, SriLankan Holidays Manager Gayan Peiris and MICE Division Executive Thivanka Danapala.
Twelve MICE industry members had the opportunity of meeting the Hyderabad-based buyers specially the ones who had not hitherto marketed Sri Lanka among their clients. They continued their dialogue during the interactive session in the evening.
The SLCB presented to the media as well as the industry why Sri Lanka should be their next choice for MICE with the new locations and products for MICE activities while SriLankan Airlines explained its plans for India.
“’Out of site, out of mind’ is the game in India and we need to do these promotions regularly to maintain and develop our market share in India,” said SLCB CEO Vipula Wanigasekera.
“We lost some percentage of corporate meetings and incentives from India for some time but this was veiled by the increasing number of visitors from India either as tourists, business people or transiting passengers with couple of days shopping in Sri Lanka.
Corporate meetings and incentives are a separate segment with high spending and what we did was to revive this market and then we will move on to other cities with the help of SriLankan Airlines,” he added.
“Today, even tier two cities such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Mysore, Pune, Lucknow and Asansol are important MICE generating markets.”