Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda, to address the Vibrant Gujarat, Tourism Convention

As part of the ongoing activities to encourage inbound tourism, Sri Lanka has ventured forth to neighbouring India, to promote the island destination as a tourist attraction. In furthering activities in this regard, the fourth ‘Vibrant India:..
Sri Lanka Tourism
Sri Lanka Tourism
Jan. 15, 2009 - PRLog -- As part of the ongoing activities to encourage inbound tourism, Sri Lanka has ventured forth to neighbouring India, to promote the island destination as a tourist attraction. In furthering activities in this regard, the fourth ‘Vibrant India: Global Investors' Summit’ organized by the State Government of Gujarat provides a sizable opportunity. This summit, to be held from 11 to 13 January 2009, aims to bring together business leaders, investors, corporations, thought leaders, policy and opinion makers, at an international level. It will further incorporate an exhibition, which will continue up to 17 January, giving exposure to the various stakeholders of the event.
Upon the invitation of Chief Minister of Gujarat, Hon. Narendra Modi, Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism, Hon. Milinda Moragoda, will deliver a keynote speech at the Vibrant Gujarat Convention of Tourism to be held in Ahmadabad, in the state of Gujarat. His speech, focused on Costal Tourism, will address issues pertaining to beach tourism, adventure sports, cruise, special entertainment zones, opportunities for spas, and responsive tourism.
With a projection of the outbound tourist market as 16 million by 2010, India offers much for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. During 2008, India continued to be the one single country with the largest number of arrivals to the island. While business travel, leisure, holiday, and personal visits still dominate outbound volumes, niche products such as sports tourism, luxury travel, honeymoon packages, cruises, and MICE are emerging as potential products for the Indian tourists. Excellent flight connectivity between India and Sri Lanka, facilitate the strong potential for the continued increase in outbound travel from India.

With robust income from a range of cash crops and several industries such as textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and engineering, Gujarat is one of the leading generators for domestic tourism and international travel in India.

Commenting on the specific interests of the Indian traveller, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, H E Mr Romesh Jayasinghe said “the Indian tourist to Sri Lanka is attracted to such things as, idyllic beaches located in close proximity to Colombo and easily accessible wildlife parks.” They are also looking for a certain sophistication, which is why the night life in Colombo, and the exotic and the economically priced shopping malls become specific attractions, he further added.
Sri Lanka Tourism has defined specific areas, which will be of particular interest to the Indian, and specifically the Gujarat visitor, commented Mr. Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
Further expanding on Sri Lanka Tourism’s focus on Gujarat, Mr. Goonetilleke said that the Ramayana trail, in which Sri Lanka is famed as the land of King Ravana, denotes an estimated 50 sites connected to the great epic of Valmiki’s Ramayana, which will be of interest particularly to the North Indian traveller. Meanwhile, Kataragama in southern Sri Lanka, which is a popular place of worship for god Skandha, will interest travellers from South India. Those visiting the south will also get an opportunity to watch several species of whales such as blue whales, hump-backed whales, sperm whales, as well as killer whales and dolphins at Mirissa.  Furthermore, the beauty and splendor of Lanka, elaborately portrayed in the Ramayana, adds further value in promoting the sites.
Meanwhile, the colonial heritage trail brings together properties belonging to the time Sri Lanka was under foreign rule. Furthermore, specific packages catering to youth for instance, have been included as the main areas to showcase Sri Lanka in India, to attract more tourists, in this case, from the region of Gujarat.
A biennial event, ‘Vibrant Gujarat: Global Investors' Summit’ will also signify economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Gujarat, where an MOU is to be signed, to benefit the tourism industry in both countries. The Gujarat Global Investors Summit has had resounding successes in the past attracting many global partners, and therefore this partnership is bound to be of much value to both parties.
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For further information please contact:
Gaya Nagahawatta
Media Coordinator
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, 80, Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 (0) 112437055/ 59/ 60 Ext 265, (Direct): +94 (0) 11 2426958
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