Twelve leading tour operators and destination promoters from Brazil arrived in Sri Lanka on a week-long familiarization tour sponsored by the country’s largest destination management company, Aitken Spence Travels.
The tour is being jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil and Aitken Spence Travels. The operators visiting Sri Lanka are amongst largest members of BRAZTOA, the umbrella organization of travel companies in South America’s largest nation.
“Brazil is one of the emerging economic giants with a population that is becoming increasingly global in its outlook, with corresponding growth in international travel. It is in the long-term interest of Sri Lanka to develop a healthy mix in its tourist portfolio. Over the last decade we have been aggressively targeting new markets for Sri Lanka which we believe has contributed to only our growth as a company but to Sri Lanka as a destination”, said Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.
Aitken Spence Travels is joint venture between the world’s leading travel company TUI Travel PLC and local conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.
During the eight day familiarization programme organized by Aitken Spence Travels, the Brazilian tour operators will have the opportunity of visiting many of the islands key tourist hotspots, including the Cultural Triangle, Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park, Galle and the south west coast.
The visiting party were hosted for a welcome dinner at the Taj Samudra Colombo on Wednesday the 3rd of December. The Brazilian representatives were met by the Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil Raja Edirisuriya, Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman & Managing Director J M S Brito, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels Nalin Jayasundera, Vice President/COO of Aitken Spence Travels Tikiri Ellepola and Area Director Sri Lanka & General Manager Taj Samudra Rohit Khosla.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil, Raja Edirisuriya said that attracting Brazilian tourists is only a matter of making them aware of the uniqueness of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. He was optimistic that tourist arrivals from Brazil can be increased substantially if an effective promotional campaign is launched.
With increasing disposable income, Brazil is becoming an important source for global tourism, especially for Asian countries. According to Euromonitor International, the number of outbound tourist trips from Brazil continued to increase strongly in 2013, growing by more than 12% to reach 9.1 million trips. This increase was well above Latin America´s average of 7% for the same year.
Asia has become one of the new destinations for many Brazilians and an increasing number of tourists visit Asian countries every year. Thailand alone receives more than 40,000 tourists from Brazil annually, leading Brazilian tour operators, said that Sri Lanka will be a highly demanded destination by many Brazilians in years to come.