French travel agents boost travel to Colombo

Over 300 French travel agents arrived in Sri Lanka for this event and visited Negombo, Colombo with excursions to the cultural triangle during the six days of the Congress. Minister John Amaratunga addressing the meeting spoke of the confidence he placed in the conduct of this congress that would boost traffic to Colombo from France and the European countries.

French travel agents have held the annual meeting of industry members with Colombo as the venue, a historic achievement for Sri Lanka Tourism to tap on a high profile MICE event.

Special Assignments Minister Sarath Amunugama highlighted Sri Lanka as one of the safest destinations for the French traveller to visit on a short haul trip. He made these observations at the opening ceremony of the French travel congress meeting in Colombo last week at the BMICH.

The French have been continuous travellers to Sri Lanka and have been on the top three markets in Europe. This is what led to the decision to hold the meeting in Colombo.

Minister Amunugama pointed out that by a strange coincidence some of the other destinations who are competitors of Sri Lanka have “some problem or another” like Egypt, Thailand and Indonesia among a few.

President of the Congres des Entrepreneurs du Voyage ( F rench Travel Age n t s Association) Jean- Pierre Mas spoke of the development that he had witnessed in his travels to Sri Lanka since his last visit 25 years ago.

Inspite of the uncertainty of holding the meeting this year in Colombo when approached at first, Mr. Mas noted he was enthused by the fact that all the relevant sectors teamed up like the government, SriLankan Airlines and others that made it a possibility.

“Our common goal is to bind Sri Lanka and the French travel agents together,” he said and added that Sri Lanka was able to provide the required standards that tourism deemed necessary like safety, security and quality.

Increased tourists from the French market are envisaged following Mr. Mas’ commitment to boost travel to Sri Lanka.

The French travel organization has a membership of 5700 state approved travel agencies and tour operators of France representing more than 5000 sales points in France.

Over 300 French travel agents arrived in Sri Lanka for this event and visited Negombo, Colombo with excursions to the cultural triangle during the six days of the Congress.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga addressing the meeting spoke of the confidence he placed in the conduct of this congress that would boost traffic to Colombo from France and the European countries.

He noted that the government placed a high level importance on generating an increased income from the tourism industry in the country adding that the political landscape had set the stage for more investments into the sector in an eco-friendly environment.

French travel to Sri Lanka has been on the rise attracting over 96,000 visitors last year after steady growth since the war ended in 2009 when the arrivals were at just over 16,000 and then rising to over 31,000 the following year.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx

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