Sri Lanka - centre of cynosure at International French Travel Market 2013
Embassy of Sri Lanka Paris
Published: 05 Oct 2013
The Sri Lankan Pavilion at the annual ‘IFTM TOP RESA’ (International French Travel Market) was the centre of cynosure with hundreds of visitors meeting with representatives of Sri Lankan travel and tour companies that were present in Paris from 24th to 27th September 2013.
Declaring open the Sri Lanka Pavilion, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France, Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte welcomed the presence of a large number of Sri Lankan companies and identified key areas in which the support and cooperation of the private sector were essential in the promotion of tourism.
Ambassador Hangawatte further highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the Embassy in the areas of trade, tourism and investment and noted the large increase in French tourists visiting Sri Lanka, which was indicative of the confidence in the country and the position of Sri Lanka as a much appreciated tourist destination.
Also present on this occasion was Mr Rumy Jauffer, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, which partnered with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in France in setting up the magnificent Sri Lanka pavilion and organizing the participation of twenty Sri Lankan tour operators at this Tourism Fair.
The Sri Lanka Pavilion was adorned with a resplendent replica of the remains of the ‘lion’s paws’ of Sigiriya. On all four days of the fair, international visitors were introduced to different varieties of Sri Lankan tea courtesy of the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
A total of twenty two Sri Lankan companies, namely Aitken Spence Travels, Aitken Spence Hotels, Amaya Resort and Spa, Andrew the Travel Company, Authenticities Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tours, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Connaissance De Ceylon, Hawk Travels, Hayleys Travels and Tours, Jetwing Travels & Hotels, Lanka Sportreizen, Lion Royal Tourisme, MAC Travels, NKAR Travels and Tours, Royal Holidays, Sri Lanka Express, Sunway Holidays, Taprospa Resorts, Visit Lanka, Walkers Tours and Yathra Travels participated at this annual event which draws thousands of visitors from France and around the world.
An interactive media briefing to promote tourism and to increase awareness of the development programme and economic achievements of Sri Lanka was held at the fair premises on the second day with the participation of 25 journalists representing tourism related media organizations in France.
Ambassador Hangawatte and Mr Jauffer as well as Mr Chandra Wickramasinghe, Board Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Mr Mahen Kariyawasan, President of Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association and Mr Danny Schepers, Director General, Sri Lankan Airlines office in Paris interacted with the media.
Speaking on this occasion, Ambassador Hangawatte presented an overview of Sri Lanka, capturing the vital aspects of the development activities as well as noting the varied places of historical value, many of which had been listed for their outstanding universal value by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.
A special raffle draw was held subsequently and Mr Pierre Hausherr of the celebrated French magazine Voyage de Luxe won an air ticket to Sri Lanka, sponsored by the Sri Lankan Airlines office in Paris and accommodation during his stay courtesy Connaissance De Ceylon.
Embassy of Sri Lanka Paris
04th October 2013