Sri Lanka fields biggest contingent for ATM
Sri Lanka would field the biggest ever contingent of 51 private
sector companies for the Arabian Travel Exhibition (ATM) which commences
today at the City Convention Centre Dubai. Over 2,500 exhibitors from 87
countries will participate which is a 7% increase against the previous
The local travel sector has identified the Gulf as the key market for
Sri Lanka. ‘One of the key advantages of the Gulf market is that they
travel during May to August which is Sri Lanka’s off season,” said
Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism, Rumi Jauffer.
He said that another advantage is that they are high spenders and
also travel with families. “Gulf tourists are also repeaters and nursing
this market would bring in high returns to the country,” he said.
The Gulf region has not been badly affected by the Euro crisis and
this too is another advantage. In addition the region also has many
expatriates and they too can be wooed to travel to Sri Lanka.
“As for the investment opportunities the potential is very high,” he
The Middle East market is considered as a key potential market for
Sri Lanka Tourism and it has recorded a 53.2% growth in 2011.
At the end of the first quarter, January to March 2012, total
arrivals from the Middle East market recorded a 22.2 % growth compared
to the same time period during 2011.
The Middle Eastern Market has been positioned as a high potential
inbound market for Sri Lanka where it is targeted that nearly 60,000
tourist arrivals will be recorded at the end of 2012, from the Middle
East positioning it as one of the fastest growing inbound markets for
Sri Lanka Tourism.
In 2011, Sri Lanka Tourism’s target was to 700,000 tourist arrivals
to the country by the end of the year and the actual number of arrivals
exceeded 855,975. All promotional activities and events will be planned
in the next couple of years with the goal of achieving the target number
of 2.5 million tourists by 2016.
Marking a remarkable historical moment, Sri Lanka Tourism celebrated
855,975 tourist arrivals to the country by the end of December 2011.
This is the highest ever figure recorded in the history of tourism from