Lanka themes tea and beach at WTM this year

The World Travel Market (WTM) opening ceremony was held at the ExCeL House London’s Sri Lanka Pavilion here yesterday morning.

Though none of the top officials from Sri Lanka Tourism including the Minister and Deputy Minister were present, the event saw an opening ceremony with stakeholders of the industry.

Sri Lanka Tourism however created a unique record where 67 travel companies are participating. “This is an all-time record number of participants from Sri Lanka for any travel show,”Sri Lanka Tourism’s Assistant Director Chameera Peiris said.

“TheSunday Times newspaper in UK last month ranked Sri Lanka as the No: 1 destination to travel, so we are taking WTM as a major promotion tool,” he said.

The theme of the Sri Lankan stand will be a mix of tea and beach.”This was highlighted in the Sunday Times in London and this is the reason for us to focus on this area,’’ he said.

The WTM this year is celebrating its 35th event. The first event in 1980 at Olympia was opened by the Duke of Kent and Miss World, Kimberly Santos of Guam. The event was attended by 350 exhibitors and 7,753 trade visitors.

Over the past three and a half decades WTM has established itself as the event where the industry conducts business its deals. WTM 2013 will lead to a massive £2.2 billion in travel deals.

Last year WTM recorded its record attendance smashing through the 55,000 barrier, with increases in all participant types including an 8% increase in buyers.

Some highlights of the opening ceremony. Pictures by Shirajiv Sirimane

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