The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Iran, with the support of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, organized a tourism promotion event “Destination Sri Lanka” at its Chancery premises in Tehran.
Around 60 representatives from the travel trade, airlines, media, and relevant other sectors in Iran were in attendance. The objective of the event was to promote Sri Lanka again as a favored travel destination of Iranian tourists, after a long break due to the pandemic restrictions and solicit views on uplifting of Sri Lanka tourism.
Delivering opening remarks, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Iran Vipulatheja Wishwanath Aponsu welcomed the distinguished gathering and appreciated their commitment and interest to join hands with the Sri Lanka Embassy in promoting Sri Lanka, a destination well known for its unique characteristics, rich diversity, popular attractions, and friendly people. While welcoming those in the audience to enjoy Sri Lanka’s warmth and hospitality, Ambassador sought their support to encourage at least 1% of total Iranian tourists to travel per year to Sri Lanka in line with the Embassy tourism plan.
In her speech by virtual mode, Acting Managing Director of SLTPB Madubhani Perera briefed on Sri Lanka tourism strategy, way forward and current health protocols to be followed by the visitors during their stay in Sri Lanka. She outlined the measures which are set in place as well as the present tourism procedures including ETA visa to encourage more tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka from Iran. Director (Marketing) of SLTPB Dushan Wickramasuriya made a comprehensive presentation on market dynamics and tourism products, for the discerning Iranian visitors who have placed Sri Lanka as their best tourist destination, appraising Sri Lanka hospitality, the nature, ayurvedic traditions, diverse cultural heritage, colorful festivals, typical foods and many more.
During the speeches, Chief Executive Officer of the Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka Amal Goonatilleke, Executive Committee Member of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators Bandula Withana, and member of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism of Sri Lanka Mervyn Fernandopulle shared their recent experiences in the tourism operations of the country. They highlighted Sri Lanka’s tourism industry’s readiness to receive more Iranian tourists with maximum safety following the Covid-19 health protocols and facilitate the best services.
On behalf of the Association of Air Transport and Tourist Agencies of Iran the Managing Director of Gulliver Travel AgencyFariboiz Saeedi, in his brief remarks, thanked the Sri Lanka Ambassador and the staff for the invitation to him and the representatives of the event for the enjoyable evening. He further assured his Association’s fullest support to send more Iran tourists to Sri Lanka.
Launching the newly created Instagram account of the Sri Lanka Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Iran was also a key feature at the event. A documentary on Sri Lanka tourism was also screened.
The participants were treated to a high tea together with a Ceylon tea promotion event arranged by the Embassy. A gift pack of Sri Lankan tea and tokens was presented to all guests.