In an effort to step up promotional activities in the growing Indian market, Sri Lanka Tourism together with many state and private stakeholders have formulated attractive and affordable promotional tours to Sri Lanka, which is to be rolled out in India.The five attractive and affordable promotional tour packages to Sri Lanka, targeted at the Indian tourist range from a combination of stays in Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla, Sigiriya and South Coast with multiple options to suit any budget.This is the first promotional campaign launched after the Easter Sunday attack which killed 258 people including 42 tourists. The offer will be valid for stays from June 10 to September 30 and will be booked and sold through travel agents network in India.During a similar promotions campaign in September to November 2018, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau had observed spending patterns of Indian tourists.This year, Sri Lanka Tourism is joining forces with the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and the national carrier SriLankan Airlines for the promotion.“We look forward to activating this campaign as soon as possible in India and looking at similar offers in other key source markets including China which is expected to be rolled out in the future. Our tourist sites and hotels are fully operational and Sri Lanka Tourism is looking forward to welcoming tourists,” stated the Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism Development and Wildlife, John Amaratunga.Meanwhile, SriLankan Airlines have worked out a comprehensive package that is being launched across all stations in India where SriLankan Airlines operate. The lucrative package includes airfare, hotel accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis, transport as specified in the itinerary and the service fee of the tour operator. From each station, there will be 15 different prices as there are five packages in three varying categories, ranging from standard to superior and deluxe.“The Indian market is the number one source market to Sri Lanka over the past decade and in 2018 recorded over 400,000 visitors from India to the island. The national carrier SriLankan Airlines has over 120 flights per week to key Indian cities and we believe such offers are quick to popularise across Indian cities,” said Dimuthu Tennakoon, Head of Worldwide Sales and Distribution (HWSD) of SriLankan According to statistics, India is Sri Lanka’s largest tourism market and accounted for 18.2% or 424,887 arrivals in 2018, up 10.5% from a year earlier. In 2017, Sri Lanka saw 3,83,000 Indian nationals visiting the country. In 2018, this number jumped to 426,000. Sri Lanka is looking to promote the destination for weddings and film shoots as well apart from leisure.MasterCard which has over 180 million cardholders in India has come on board to promote these packages through their well-connected channels. MasterCard Sri Lanka and the Maldives Country Manager Santhosh Kumar shared that they are enthusiastic to be a part of such a timely initiative.
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