Sri Lanka wins bid to host PATA World Congress in 2017View(s):
The global travel industry’s top body Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has picked Sri Lanka to host its Annual Summit in 2017, the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau (SLCB) said. PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy made the announcement while speaking at a SLCB event on the sidelines of the PATA summit in Bangalore this week.
Mr. Hardy, said, “I would like to take this wonderful opportunity to announce something special. It is honour and pleasure for me to announce that the PATA Annual Summit in 2017 will take place in Negombo, Sri Lanka.”
Negombo was chosen out of the four options given namely Negombo, Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Bentota/Beruwala.” At the event SLCB delivering a presentation positioned “Sri Lanka as the latest Tourism and MICE Tourism destination in Asia” to the hosted buyers of PATA attending the PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore, which included over 100 Indian tourism and MICE buyers, the bureau said in a media release.
The team from Sri Lanka comprised SriLankan Airlines(SLA) Chairman Ajith Dias, SLCB CEO Vipula Wanigasekera, Sri Lankan Inbound Tour Operators Association President Mahen Kariyawasam and members of Sri Lanka Professional Conference and Exhibition organisers (SLAPCEO), travel industry, senior officers of SLCB and SLA. SLAPCEO was represented by Paddy Paul who met a large cross section of the buyers during this event, the release noted.
Mr. Wanigasekera had presented reasons for the phenomenal growth of the leisure and MICE tourism in Sri Lanka and why it’s expected to continue in the coming years. ”In the last few months we have been working on getting a few major tourism events to Sri Lanka and PATA is one such conference which will bring in over 300 international tourism professionals into Sri Lanka. Apart from the event that offers opportunity for our industry to showcase their products and services, PATA will publicise Sri Lanka through their communication channels over the next two years,” Mr. Wanigasekera said.
Apart from Sri Lanka being a MICE location, Mr. Wanigasekera presented the finer attractions that can entice special niches of travellers that are yet to be projected in the marketing campaign beyond the eight wonderful experiences, the release said.Story lines in locations; ship wrecks; the largest living creatures witnessed from one land; Port Tarshish in the Old Testament presumed to be Galle; Hot water wells said to prolong the life span and eradicate illnesses; and locations for spiritual seekers were among the lesser known attractions presented at this event to hundreds of international tourism buyers, he stated during the presentation.
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 comprises 87 governments, 31 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 61 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.