Sri Lanka Tourism showcased the Sri Lankan prestige at JATA Tourism Expo 2016 at Tokyo Big Sight, which was held recently.
It was held under the patronage of Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayaka, Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa, Miss Tourism Japan Yumi Hashimoto, Marketing JM Kalpa Gunasinghe, who represented Sri Lanka Tourism and coordinated the event.
Parallel with the fair, Sri Lanka Tourism also held two road shows in Nagoya and Tokyo, which gave an opportunity to the visitors and all tourism stakeholders to share their ideas and get to know more about the Sri Lankan tourism sector. Over 50 members from Sri Lanka, representing 22 travel industry companies participated in this event. Sri Lanka made a big difference at the fair, exhibiting the beautiful Sri Lankan identity with its vivid colours and glamour.
Japan is another important tourist market for Sri Lanka Tourism since it includes a considerable number of tourists who like to have value for money and also a different experience. The travel fairs and road shows will have a positive impact on the tourist arrivals and the number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from Japan has increased by compared to last year. For up to September this year, it has risen to a total of 10.7 percent. From January to September 2015, the number of Japanese tourists who visited Sri Lanka reached up to 29,671, whereas from January to September 2016, the number of arrivals was 32,857.
Japan as a hi-tech industry-based nation, is concerned about developing its technological abilities and also its tourism policy seeks to make Japan a leading nation in tourism by placing local resources in the front and centre. Chandana Wickremasinghe and his dance troupe added more colour to the event by their attractive performances at JATA 2016 which attracted the Japanese tourists immensely. The tea counter was another attraction where the Japanese visitors had the chance of tasting a bit of traditional Sri Lankan tea.
Sixty companies from Japan and 22 companies from Sri Lanka participated in the road show held in Tokyo while 15 media companies from Japan were present. At the Nagoya road show, there were 42 companies from Japan, while 17 Sri Lankan companies participated. Five media organisations in Japan joined the event. This participation further strengthened the bilateral ties between the two countries developing the tourism sector at the same time.