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Aitken Spence Travels records landmark 178,000 Happy visitors to destination Sri Lanka

18 May

Aitken Spence Travels, the largest inbound tour operator in the country closed the 2017/18 financial year with a total inbound volume exceeding 178,000 happy visitors to Destination Sri Lanka. This year’s performance builds on the previous year’s record high of 153,000 tourists by far the largest number of visitor arrivals handled by any Destination Management Company in the country. The Aitken Spence Travels’ growth was recorded at 16% while during the same period the country arrivals grew by 7%.

Commenting on the feat the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels Mr. Nalin Jayasundera stated, “This achievement was possible due to our continues efforts in diversifying to new markets and growing the existing markets by securing new business.  I am happy to note our increased visitor numbers resulted in the Company recording the highest ever profit thus far. This was due to the excellent team work of the staff who ensured that our clients are served with dedication and professionalism coupled with years of experience in the tourism industry”.

“The contribution of our Tour Operator partners has been significant to the Company’s achievements.  We place our sincere appreciation for the support extended by Hotel partners, airline’s and other suppliers for playing a significant role. The 41 year journey of Aitken Spence Travels is built on the ethos of trust and partnerships. We are privileged to have the best practices of TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism company and the strength and backing of Aitken Spence group”, he added.

Aitken Spence Travels is active in many diverse segments of tourism. The Company’s Cruise shore excursions business commands market leadership in the country. The cruise business is a growing segment and Sri Lanka has potential to offer a multi-port offering to differentiate in order to secure future business.

The charter flight operations have been growing and the Company has continued to handle charters from U.K., Sweden, Finland and Russia. In 2017/18 together with TUI, Aitken Spence Travels handled a charter from Poland for the first time which operated flights every 10 days. Due to the successful charter operation TUI will be operating a second charter for winter 2018/19 from Poland.

The Company has also made inroads on sports tours handled and have brought many teams from different sporting disciplines. Cricket by far is the most popular but netball, rugby and hockey tours have grown, and the Company has made inroads with golf tourism.

As the only award-winning conference organiser, AST events unit managers international and local business and consumer events. The event portfolio covers medical, IT, education and consumer trade fairs. Flagship local events such as Colombo Shopping Festival, Home and You, the Best Brand Show has attracted over 175,000 local visitors per annum. The unit also specialises in handling events in Maldives.

 

In addition to giving back to the community in numerous ways, Aitken Spence Travels is among the few companies in Sri Lanka that offsets its carbon footprint across its operations. Visitors continue to place their trust and confidence in the Company as they too become part of the organisations greater responsibility towards minimising carbon footprint when partaking on tours and excursions designed to have minimum impact to the environment and nature. The Travel Life Certification was secured for the operations keeping in line with global sustainable tourism practices.

Since 2015 the Company has been handling over one hundred thousand inbound clients and have not looked back since then. The formula for continuous success has been the commitment of the management and dedication of the staff to achieve a common corporate objective. The Company carries out its own promotions in partnership with tour operators to create a better demand for the destination.

It is envisaged that the tourism industry and its stakeholders will stand to gain from the proposed digital promotion campaign. It is also important to have a sustained and an effective marketing campaign for the benefit of the tourism sector stakeholders and the overall economy of the country.

Looking further Aitken Spence Travels hopes to continue to strengthen and build its international market position. The Company will continue to shape the tourism industry, by pioneering in terms of innovation in products and exploring markets be it Sports, MICE, Cruises, Nature, Luxury, Online and Charter operations.

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Aitken Spence Travels Partners TUI to Bring 12 Charter Flights from the UK

22 Nov

Aitken Spence Travels is attracting the only charter flight operation from the UK to Sri Lanka this season, with 12 flights scheduled to land from 14th November 2017 to 30th April 2018. The charter operated by TUI UK will see a Thomson Airways 300-seat Dreamliner bringing in 3,600 tourists from the UK over the course of five months.

Holidaymakers will be accommodated in 15 beach resorts from Waikkala to Hikkaduwa as well as in several hotels in Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.

The charter operation is expected to generate more than 25,000 room nights to hotels in Sri Lanka during the season, giving a significant boost to the industry’s demand from the UK. As the official ground handler, Aitken Spence will be organizing logistics, transport, accommodation and tours of all the travellers.

The first flight which landed on Tuesday 14th November was warmly welcomed by Aitken Spence Travels at the Bandaranaike International Airport with traditional dancers.

This is the second consecutive year that Aitken Spence Travels has attracted the large charter operation from the UK. Previous to last year, the last charter from the UK market was in 2010. Since then it has taken much effort and dedication to convince the charter operators to resume their flights back to Sri Lanka considering the aggressive competition posed by competing destinations.

Tourist arrivals from the UK has shown steady growth over the last few years, growing by 16 per cent in 2016 to 188,159 while arrivals in 2017 till the month of September stood at 153,971, according to official sources.

“Aitken Spence Travels is the only destination management company in Sri Lanka to handle a charter from the UK. This is due to our longstanding partnership with TUI, a global giant in the tourism industry. A great amount of effort was made over the year to secure the charter for the second consecutive year despite tremendous competition from other destinations. Our commitment, consistency in service and agility displayed during the charter operation last year helped us secure the charter for Sri Lanka this year. Sri Lanka as a tourist destination needs to be promoted more aggressively among the UK public in order to capitalize on the efforts made by industry players”, said Prasanjit Perera, Vice President, Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence Travels to Bring 13 Charter Flights from Poland This Season

9 Nov

Strengthening a new front in its efforts to promote tourism to Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Travels announced that it will be attracting 13 charter flights from Poland this season, with one arriving every 10 days till mid-March 2018.

The flights are a result of the longstanding partnership between TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism company and Aitken Spence Travels.

Sri Lanka’s largest travel company said that the first of the charter flights arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Saturday the 4th November. The 189 Polish tourists were warmly welcomed by Aitken Spence Travels with lotus flowers and by a performance by traditional dancers.

A total of about 2400 Polish tourists are expected to arrive through this Charter operation generating an estimated 12,285 room nights, mostly at beach properties in the island.

“Despite the severe competition in the industry, we were able to convince TUI Poland to operate this charter flight with Aitken Spence Travels to Sri Lanka.  We will extend our fullest support to TUI Poland to promote the destination aggressively among their agents.  With the previous experiences that we have gained, we are confident that this charter operation will be a great success.  We will work with TUI Poland to strengthen our partnership to allow more Polish tourists experience Sri Lanka’s varied attractions”, said Niranjan Rodrigo, Vice President, Aitken Spence Travels.

Ireneusz Golabek, Head of Operations and Destination Services, TUI Poland said, “The TUI Polish charter will operate this winter season from Warsaw to Colombo. We are very happy and excited to be operating this charter with our long-standing destinations partner Aitken Spence Travels. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and can offer much more than the Sun and Beach. I am confident and feel strongly that the Polish Travellers will also be excited to explore the beautiful nature and culture your country has to offer. The excursions developed by our destinations partner is exciting and very good. We will look at the feedback of our Polish customers to explore continuity. I am happy that we have managed to grow from a very small operation to what we are enjoying today and am hopeful that it will grow from strength to strength.”

Arrivals from Poland to Sri Lanka in 2013 was 9688, which grew by 38% to 13,370 in 2014. However, numbers stagnated to 13,245 in 2015, while picking up by 9% in 2016 to 14,432. Polish arrivals to Sri Lanka from January to September in 2017 has seen a drop of 2% year-on-year. The Aitken Spence – TUI Poland charter operation is expected to boost the tourism arrivals from Poland to Sri Lanka.

Aitken Spence Travels to Bring 20 Charter Flights from Russia this Season

31 Oct

For the second consecutive year, Aitken Spence Travels will be bringing in 20 charter flights from Russia for the annual season. The first charter flight for 2017/18, a Boeing 767 operated by Royal Flight arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday the 27th October carrying 325 tourists from Russia. The charter operation was realized through the longstanding partnership between Coral Travel, a leading travel company in Russia and Aitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s largest travel company. Aitken Spence served an unprecedented 153,000 visitors to Sri Lanka, during its last financial year.

The tourists who arrived on the charter flight were given a warm traditional welcome by presenting the national flower of the country and by a welcome performance by traditional dancers. The charter operation from Russia this year is expected to generate around 30,000 room nights, via a network of 55 hotel partners of Aitken Spence Travels.

“Due to the difficult market conditions last year, the Russian arrivals to the country was not positive. However, Coral Travel has maintained their confidence in the destination by continuing the charter program this year by working with Aitken Spence Travels to operate the Charter. The numbers from the Russian and CIS regions to Aitken Spence Travels has grown by 86% as a result of a very strong promotional campaign carried out by our partners”, said Vice President of Aitken Spence Travels, Darell De Crusz.

Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels Mr. Nalin Jayasundera commented, “This Charter will be operating thrice monthly once again, in cooperation with our longstanding partner – Coral Travels. We must convey our appreciation to the dynamism and the commitment of Coral Travel for believing in Sri Lanka as a destination. Whilst the destination faces many challenges, we believe that strong partnerships fostered over the years and aggressive marketing is the way forward”.

Significantly Coral Travel Celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year and has continued to offer the best resorts and hotels in 35 countries of the world including Sri Lanka. The brand Coral Travel is positioned in the Russian market as a brand of reliability and quality and has had a strong and healthy partnership with Aitken Spence Travels who have been in the DMC business for four decades.

Aitken Spence Travels Wins ‘Best in Class’ Award at Interactive Media Awards

22 Feb

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Aitken Spence Travels received the ‘Best in Class’ award presented by the Interactive Media Awards (IMA) for its revamped Aitken Spence Holidays website in the Travel and Tourism category. The ‘Best in Class’ award is the highest honour awarded by the IMA for excellence in planning, execution and overall professionalism. In order to achieve this award, the website passed through a comprehensive judging process, excelling in each of the judging criterion. The laurel is presented to very few websites each year for meeting the required mark.

The Aitken Spence Holidays unit is the Outbound operation of Aitken Spence Travels that provides a comprehensive set of services related to its Sri Lankan travellers. The service portfolio offered by Aitken Spence Travels Holidays unit consists of Issuing of Air Tickets, Assistance in obtaining visas, Assistance in obtaining new passports, Renewals, Holiday and business packages to exotic destinations, Pilgrim tours to Dambadiva and Holy land, Tours to global trade fairs, Special packages for Sports events & Musical concerts, Cruise packages, Overseas hotel accommodation, Rail tickets on Rail Europe,  Issuance of Currency & Travel Cards, Airport Drop & Pick up, Travel Insurance and Emirates holidays packages.

The role of Aitken Spence Travels has evolved to an organisation with almost 40 years of service to the Sri Lankan traveller and has some of the leading business organisations entrusting their travel needs and services through the company.

‘The Interactive Media Awards is an open competitive platform targeted at felicitating individuals and organizations involved in designing, developing, managing, supporting and promoting websites. The awards are judged by an independent committee appointed by Interactive Media Council Inc. (IMC), the hosting organization of this award’ stated Rajitha Dahanayake CEO of E Marketing Eye the company responsible for the revamp of the Aitken Spence Holidays web site.

“We pride ourselves on the ability to understand our customers and cater to their exact requirements in the most customer-centric way. In recent years, it has become clear that digital is a necessary medium by which to engage customers and we have wholeheartedly strengthened our efforts in that area. We are ever prepared to offer our customers an avenue to discover new destinations, personalise it and offer new ideas to make travel plans.” commented Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director – Aitken Spence Travels.

TUI – World’s Largest Tourism Group to Boost Destination Sri Lanka

3 Mar
TUI_CEO_Fritz Joussen

Fritz Joussen, Group CEO – TUI Group

A high profile delegation of TUI, the world’s number one integrated tourism Group, headed by the Group CEO Fritz Joussen will be visiting Sri Lanka today (Thursday). Organized by its joint venture partner Aitken Spence Travels, this would be the first time that Fritz Joussen will be visiting Sri Lanka. Joussen will be accompanied by other TUI top-level executives including: the CEO of TUI Germany, Managing Director of Product and Purchasing, CEO of TUI Nordic and Managing Director of TUI UK and Ireland on this visit. This visit highlights the focus on destination Sri Lanka and is a major endorsement from the global tourism giant.

TUI provides services along the entire tourism value chain for its 30 million plus customers from 31 source markets travelling to 180 destinations. It employs over 77,000 people in 130 countries. The group owns over 300 hotels & resorts with 210,000 beds, operating 136 aircrafts and 12 cruise ships. The company boasts revenues of €20.1 Billion in turnover and an operating result of €1.069 Billion. The TUI Group’s share is listed on the London Stock Exchange in the FTSE index and in the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The TUI group is an equal share partner of Aitken Spence Travels, the largest travel company in Sri Lanka. TUI enjoys a relationship of thirty five years with Aitken Spence, promoting Sri Lanka as a destination across a wide variety of source markets, especially in Europe. The partnership will be further strengthened with the commencement of planned charters from UK and Scandinavia, planned to start in the near future, along with the expected increase in arrivals from Germany and the Benelux region. The Lankan tourism industry will benefit greatly from these initiatives, adding traction to the tourism master plan of the country.

The TUI team is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Minister of Tourism Hon. John Amarathunga and with other key tourism industry officials during their one-day stay.

The delegation will also make visit to 501-room RIU Ahungalla – a joint venture with Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, which is currently under development. In addition, the TUI team will also visit other hotels that would be featured in its brochures. RIU Ahungalla once completed will be Sri Lanka’s largest beach hotel with 501 rooms. The hotel will offer a new segment of “all inclusive,” a first of its kind to Sri Lankan consumers and will extend its wings to its brand loyal customers travelling the globe. The TUI Charter operation will definitely generate more opportunities for other hotels to generate more business due to the increase in arrivals.

“TUI has continued to express interest in Sri Lanka as an important destination in the region. This historic visit is a result of a longstanding commitment and the growing openness in Sri Lanka. The overall increase of business from TUI will create opportunities for the growth of inbound numbers and the potential development of Sri Lanka’s tourism product that this visit may facilitate”, said Nalin Jayasundara, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Travels and a respected industry veteran.

As the country’s biggest tour operator, Aitken Spence Travels handles an annual volume of over 125,000 inbound tourists, and continuously strives to contribute to the growth of inbound volumes to the country.

Aitken Spence Partners SriLankan Airlines to Promote Sri Lanka across India

18 Jan
Mr. Suranga Ratnayake General Manager Aitken Spence Travels & Mr. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager Noth India flanked by so

Mr. Suranga Ratnayake General Manager Aitken Spence Travels & Mr. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager North India flanked by some of the Top Travel agents during the presentation

Aitken Spence Travels, Turyaa Kalutara and SriLankan Holidays have joined hands to launch a promotional campaign across several cities in India to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka. The campaign will consist of cinema and TV advertising, as well as presentations to key agents covering all the main cities.

Aitken Spence Travels is the largest tour operator bringing in over 120,000 tourists to Sri Lanka. SriLankan Airlines flies to 7 destinations in India. The 200-room Turyaa Kalutara is the latest property opened by Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The campaign will break and coincide with the Thai Pongal festival on TV and on 50 Cinema locations in major cities and states such as Mumbai, Karnataka, Bangalore, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, West Bengal, Kolkata, Delhi, Kerala and Cochin.

Aitken Spence Travels has developed two exclusive travel packages, namely ‘The Best of Sri Lanka’ and ‘Waves of Fun’ for this promotion, which is combined with air fare by SriLankan Airlines.

‘The Best of Sri Lanka’- a 5 days/4 nights package- would give the Indian traveller the experience of savouring some of the most beautiful locations in the island that includes sites of the “Ramayana trails”. The traveler will also stay in some of the finest hotels in Sri Lanka during the tour, such as Heritance Tea Factory, the Earl’s Regency and Turyaa Kalutara.

‘Waves of Fun’ package is a 4days/3 nights exclusive package at the beach at Turyaa Kalutara, allowing the traveller to enjoy time out for themselves with many excursions they could pick and choose.

Sri Lankan Airlines has launched the special Sri Lanka travel packages to the top Indian Tour operators in three of the most important source cities in India through exclusive events. Accordingly, launch events took place in Delhi on the 8th of January, in Mumbai on the 13th of January and in Chennai on the 18th of January.

“Last year compared to the overall growth in tourist arrivals of 18%, Indian tourist arrivals experienced a growth of 30% and remains the number one country for tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka with a figure of over 320,000 arrivals. In order to show our further commitment to the Sri Lanka Tourism product, SriLankan Airlines will continue to promote Sri Lanka with tailor made packages to the Indian market throughout the year”, said SriLankan Airlines’ Manager for North India, Chinthaka Weerasinghe.

“As Sri Lanka’s leading destination management company, we have relentlessly pursued unchartered markets globally, bringing in valuable diversity to the country’s tourist portfolio. Sri Lanka as a destination has to have a strategic focus on India for many obvious reasons, such as proximity, connectivity and size. There is tremendous potential in developing the Indian market for Sri Lanka. We see SriLankan Airlines as a critical partner in this process who have continued to support the industry in promoting destination Sri Lanka”, said Aitken Spence Travels Managing Director, Nalin Jayasundera.

Part of the gathering of Top tour operators in India who were part of the presentation

Aitken Spence Travels hosts President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association to Sri Lanka

4 Dec
Lebanese Travel Agents Visiting Sigiriya

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with other Lebanese tour agents visiting Sigiriya.

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with a group of high profile Lebanese tour agents on an educational tour to Sri Lanka was welcomed and hosted by Aitken Spence Travels recently. The group’s main objective was to update themselves about the destination and explore possibilities of developing new tours based on their 14-year relationship with the company.

As the market leader that penetrated the Lebanese market way back in 2001, Aitken Spence Travels has enjoyed the first mover advantage and handles the bulk of the inbound Lebanese travelers to Sri Lanka. The country recorded over 3,700 Lebanese travelers last year and this number is currently growing at 20 per cent.

The Lebanese travelers prefer to travel to Sri Lanka specifically during Eid, Easter, Christmas and summer holidays which usually fall during June, July & August. Many honeymooners and groups prefer Sri Lanka as a destination and enjoy the many new attractions the country has to offer including shopping at all international branded stores.

Commenting on his visit to Sri Lanka President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud said “I have been in love with Sri Lanka since my first visit way back in 2001. I could safely say that this is my second home. You have a beautiful country which is a tropical destination to many Lebanese who enjoy attractions such as the abundance of beautiful nature, the rich culture, the sandy beaches and the varied wild life Sri Lanka has to offer. So we need to look at creating more and more new tours highlighting these products to attract travelers from Lebanon that would further strengthen and grow the market”

“We have invested heavily in this market ever since we entered it. All our efforts through promotions, airline promotions and educating the agents has paid rich dividends in reaching the current position. We will not relay on our current laurels and will ensure that we further strengthen the relationships and develop more tours that would help us tap in to untapped potential travelers of Lebanon” stated Mr. Darell de Crusz AVP Marketing of Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence Travels the winner of the Presidential award for 3 consecutive years and the only DMC to enter the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya Plantations.

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.

Aitken Spence Travels surpasses handling 100,000 visitors to Sri Lanka

17 Apr

ToursistAitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s leading Destination Management Company has surpassed the one hundred thousand milestone of handling visitors to Sri Lanka for the financial year of 2014/2015. This is a significant milestone in the Company’s 38-year history.
“We have continued to grow our business year on year and we are delighted with our results” noted Mr. Nalin Jayasundera Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels. “We have shown significant capacity to adjust to the changing market conditions and fuel growth in spite of the lingering economic and geopolitical challenges. With these results, we are confident we will continue to have a major impact on the country’s tourism sector. Based on our numbers Aitken Spence Travels continues to be the highest contributor to the government’s Tourism Development Levy in Sri Lanka from amongst all travel companies” he added. Furthermore Aitken Spence Travels is a significant contributor to our partner hotels by providing 248,000 room nights annually, being the biggest supplier of inventory to the Hotels sector.
This achievement further reinforces the company’s number one position in the destination management business and is another feather in the cap of achievements which includes Aitken Spence Travels being awarded the Presidential award for three consecutive years and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Aitken Spence was the winner of Presidential award for best Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) in Sri Lanka for 3 consecutive years and entered the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project category for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya plantations.
Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE, Shore Excursions for Cruise liners and luxury. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.
Commenting further on this significant achievement Mr. Jayasundera stated “I would like to thank our staff and the management team for their commitment, dedication and hard work in serving more than one hundred thousand clients. I am glad that the creative culture encouraged at Aitken Spence has enabled our staff to be innovative in creating tours to the ever demanding needs of the modern traveler and taking risks in exploring new markets whilst being responsible in all their efforts. I would like to thank our tour operator partners for the continued trust and confidence in us by promoting Sri Lanka as a destination. The support of our Hotel partners, Airline partners, other suppliers and Sri Lanka Tourism need to be acknowledged for helping us reach this milestone”.
Looking further Aitken Spence Travels hopes to continue to strengthen and build its international market position. We will continue to shape the tourism industry, by pioneering in terms of innovation in products and exploring markets, quality of the services offered and exceeding customer expectations.

Aitken Spence Brings Brazil’s Leading Tour Operators to Sri Lanka

5 Dec

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.

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“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.