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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka promoting MICE tourism to meet 12-pct of 2023 target

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is promoting meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions in the expectation of filling 12 percent of a 1.55 million tourists targeted in 2023, officials said.

South Asia, the Middle East and Europe are key target markets for drawing MICE travellers.

“India is one of the biggest, about 75 percent of the visitors are from India,” Thisum Jayasuriya, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, which is charged with driving the MICE segment, said.

“The other countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Germany, the Middle East, Saudi, Doha, Dubai, and UK are the key source markets for MICE at the moment.

“Our target for total arrivals to Sri Lanka for 2023 is 1.55 million arrivals out of which our MICE target is 10-12 percent.”

Sri Lanka has yet to reach pre-Covid MICE visitor levels, but is seeing an upturn, especially from India, Jayasuriya said.

A number of meetings have already been lined up for the year, with a Bora convention also to be held, he said.

Several MICE sector companies who are in Sri Lanka said returning stability to the country made it an attractive market.

“Sri Lanka is always a beautiful land, we as neighbors would love to visit,” Ajinkya Dhumma, Chief Operating Officer MICE at India’s Classis Travels & Tours said.

“We are already promoting tourist packages of Kandy, Galle, Nuwara Eliya and so on.”

Others are looking for partners to help with organizing meetings.

“Sri Lanka is a potential market place,” Dimitri Laspas, founder & managing director, BML International-UK said.

“I’m looking for companies to organize our next event in 2024 with 250 people from countries such as Paris, Madrid, Milano and Vienna.”

Ajit Singh Sikand, head of Germany based HBC Luxury MICE said Sri Lanka was a market for the luxury end but direct flights were needed to draw customers.

“The Luxury Hotels are very suitable for our clientele in Germany and Sri Lankan Airlines fly direct from Frankfurt to Colombo,” Sikand said.

“That is the only direct connectivity. The luxury clients would like to fly on a direct flight.” (Colombo/Mar15/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Thursday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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