SriLanka aims to become prime MICE destination in the Indian Ocean

Published on : Friday, July 24, 2015

Sri Lanka Convention BureauSriLankan Airlines in a conjoined effort with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau hosted a promotional event in the bustling city to endorse the several facilities offered for hosting MICE activities in Sri Lanka. These efforts are focused toward implementing a long term plan to enhance Sri Lanka’s profile as a MICE destination and becoming a premier conference location in the Indian Ocean.

The country is emerging as one of the most exciting tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Conferences and Exhibitions) destinations in Asia.  Sri Lanka’s MICE industry experienced a leap forward in the last few years recording over 144,000 MICE visitors to the country in the year 2014 of which majority has emerged from the Incentive Travel segment. The total tourist arrivals into the country exceeded 1.5 million in 2014 from mere 500,000 in 2009.

Sri Lanka is a hot spot today for incentive travel, with a variety of attractions ranging from its’  beaches and  ancient cities, Mountains to the island’s new attractions such as  Whale watching, Bird Watching, Surfing, Elephant gathering, underwater activities and leopard safaris.

Incentive travelers have increased over the last few years with the industry offering many creative programs that offer much excitement to participants and create memorable experiences of their stay in Sri Lanka.

Conference business has reached a new high with 62 International conferences recording in the year 2014.  Among them are International Symposium on Water Resources and Renewable Development Asia -ASIA 2014, International Convention on Quality Control Circles -ICQCC 2014, 9th  SAARC ENT Congress, World Blood Donor Day -WBDD2014, 7 World Youth Congress , 5 International Symposium on Water Resources and Renewable Development Asia -ASIA 2014. About 70 Internationally reputed conferences are scheduled to be held in 2015 from over 60 International conferences in 2014.

Despite rapid infrastructure development, Sri Lanka’s true strength is in the area of corporate meetings and Incentive Travel mainly because of the diverse locations in Sri Lanka.  Within a few hours one can move from one location to another. For this reason, a large number of Indian Corporates have opted for Sri Lanka for their meetings. Among them are Paropkar group, Cadbury, Kaseya, Nokia, Omka, Mahendra & Mahendra, L’oreal , Sree Group, TMI group, Coca Cola , Philip,  Epson , VVI , Canon and several others.

SriLankan Airlines offers its MICE passengers a host of privileges ranging from discounted airfares for guest speakers, resource personnel and delegates; promotional support services; meet and greet services; special recognition on-board; professional advice on event venues; ground operators and hotel accommodation as well as assistance and information at all SriLankan offices network-wide. The MICE Department of the Airline gets involved from the very outset and assists with planning and bidding for the event. Discounted air travel may be provided for site inspection visits and for marketing and promotional purposes. SriLankan MICE also offers total travel solutions comprising flights, hotel accommodation, conference/meeting facilities, transfers and tours, air freight allowances for promotional material, programmes for accompanying persons and pre and post meeting tours.

Currently, the airline flies out of seven markets from India, namely – New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Trivandrum and Tiruchirappalli. The airline has a total frequency of 86 flights per week flights between Sri Lanka and India, with the highest frequency being from the Chennai market, of 26 flights per week from. Thus it has great connectivity especially from South India for MICE travellers to Sri Lanka.

The airline works closely with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and international professional conference organisers and with destination management companies (DMCs) to provide MICE tourists with truly unique experiences.  Tailor-made incentive trips are offered to create a perfectly relaxed disposition for work whilst capturing the spirit of island life.

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