Mastercard and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) are offeringexciting opportunities for Indian travellers to avail the convenience of cashless payments and attractive discounts on dining,shopping and staying in Sri Lanka. This is part of their ongoing strategic efforts to jointly promote Sri Lanka as a preferred destination in key markets.
Travellers with Mastercard debit and credit cardsissued in India will be able to enjoy excitingoffers including discounts on holiday packages and air tickets to Sri Lanka booked through partnering travel websites as well as savings of up to 25 percent at select partner hotels, restaurants, and retail stores.Jetwing Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts,AMAN Hotels, Loon Tao Restaurant and Mlesna Tea are some of the hotels that have been partnered with for this campaign.
Supported by a pan-India marketing drive by Mastercard, this collaboration has been set to drum up greater interest in Sri Lanka amongst Indian travellers.
John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development, Sri Lanka,described the move by Mastercard as a welcome development. He said, “I congratulate Mastercard for pioneering this initiative with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau to promoteSri Lanka as the preferred destination for the discerning Indian travellers. Be it for leisure, shopping or business, the incentives on offers coupled with the cashless convenience factor would definitely help card users discover more of Sri Lanka. With tourist arrival numbers from India on the rise, this promotion will help consolidate and sustain this growth into the future. Therefore, the Mastercard promotion is a welcome development that will further establish Sri Lanka as India’s favouritetravel destination.”
Commenting on this partnership, Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau said,“We believe that this new partnership with Mastercard will encourage cross border tourism between India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is rich in culture and heritage and an attractive destination for both leisure and business travellers. Easy connectivity with short haul flights from India and favourable currency exchange rate will serve as the perfect package for the travellers.”
Vikas Varma, Senior Vice President, Account Management, Mastercard said, “Mastercard is delighted to partner with Sri Lanka Tourism Board to boost cashless tourism and further enhance the Sri Lanka experience. Tourism is a major contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy and given India’s close proximity to Sri Lanka, Mastercard’s market intelligence on the Indian travellers’ spending patterns and strong partnerships with various stakeholders, Sri Lanka can fully harness the potential of cashless payments.”
R. B. Santosh Kumar, Country Manager, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Mastercard said, “Mastercard has beenworking closely with all stakeholders across the public and private sectors in Sri Lanka for more than three decades. Their local insights together with our suite of world-class electronic payment solutions and global expertisehas helped Mastercarddeliver greater value to Sri Lankan businesses and consumers. The current campaign that Mastercard is running in partnership with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, one of its longstanding partners, is yet another way Mastercard continues leveraging the transformative power of digital payments to do so.”
This announcement comes on the heels of recent positive growth of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. As per a report published by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in 2018, international tourism arrivals in Sri Lanka hit a record of 2.1 million in 2017 with a growth rate of 3.20% over 20161. India is the largest source of tourism for Sri Lanka contributing to 18% of the total tourists visiting the country. This year, Sri Lanka is expecting 440,000 arrivals from India, according to an estimate by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau2.