Sri Lanka Tourism conquers the Mediterranean at IMTM Travel Fair 2017


Sri Lanka Tourism showcased its splendour in the Mediterranean by participating at the IMTM (International Mediterranean Tourism Market) Travel Fair which was held from 7 to 8 February in Tel Aviv, Israel, amidst a colourful atmosphere. Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Israel H.E.P. Selvaraj, together with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Israel gave full support in making this attempt a success. The 2017 fair was the 23rd edition of IMTM, established in 1994.

The Sri Lankan Pavilion at the fair drew the attention of the visitors with its usual creativity, attractiveness, and the wide range of tourist attractions which Sri Lanka has to offer, such as nature, wildlife, cultural festivals, heritage, ancient cities and monuments which dates back to thousands of years, authentic and mouth-watering Sri Lankan cuisine including herbs and spices which are quite similar to those used in the Mediterranean, also not forgetting a sip of the famous Ceylon Tea.

The Pavilion was declared open under the patronage Minister of Tourism in Israel Yariv Levin amidst the distinguished presence of the Sri Lankan delegation represented by Minister of Tourism Development, Christian Religious Affairs and Lands John Amaratunga, Advisor for the Minister Felix Rodrigo, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Israel H.E.P. Selvaraj, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Asst. Director Ajantha Rathnayake, by lighting the traditional oil lamp. The Israeli Tourism Minister was also given a token of appreciation by Minister John Amaratunga.

By participating at this fair, the purpose of Sri Lanka Tourism was to showcase the benefits of choosing this beautiful paradise island as a wonderful holiday destination, giving the opportunity of being exposed to a world of magical and serene beauty. It also enabled to promote Sri Lanka Tourism in the Middle East, Sri Lankan products, Ceylon Tea, and one to one meetings with the Israel Tour Operators.

In parallel to the fair, a meeting was held between the tourism ministers of the two nations, ministry officials, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam and SLTPB Asst. Director Ajantha Rathnayake. The discussion included having direct flights between the two countries, promoting tourism and strengthening the bilateral ties further.

10 Travel Agents participated in the Sri Lankan delegation such as Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka, NKAR Travels &Tours Ltd., Shums Holidays Ltd. Amc Holidays Ltd. and Hayleys Tours Ltd. The fair by no means set a platform for them to increase contacts with their Israeli counterparts and develop their business relationships.

The IMTM 2017 is the largest annual professional and official exhibition for the tourism market in Israel which provides global exposure and business and travel opportunities for the tourism sector, in which Sri Lanka has been a regular member. Up to December 2016, 10,391 tourist arrivals has been reported from Israel, while it has showed a 33.4 increase compared with the same period in 2015.

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