An Echelon Media Company
Wednesday June 7th, 2023

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)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka’s shares slip on profit taking and selling pressure

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares closed lower on Wednesday after four consecutive gains in previous sessions spiraled into selling interest and profit taking, an analyst said.

The main All Share Price Index was down 0.28 percent or 24.39 points to 8,722.06, this is the lowest the index has been since May 02, while the most liquid index S&P SL20 was down 0.40 percent or 9.92 points to 2,468.44.

“The market was gaining in the previous sessions and there is selling and profit taking present today, due to continuously being on green,” an analyst said.

In the previous sessions the market was seeing gains, due to lowered policy rates and low inflation stimulating buying interest and driving the sentiment up, an analyst said.

Sri Lanka’s inflation in the 12-months to May 2023 has eased to 25.2 percent from 35.3 percent a month earlier according to a revised Colombo Consumer Price Index calculated by the state statistics office.

The central bank cut the key policy rates by 250 basis points to spur a faltering economic growth as inflation was decelerating faster than it projected.

“There are gradual improvements in the market sentiment, with positive sentiments coming in from lowered policy rates and inflation,” an analyst said.

The market generated foreign inflows of 12 million rupees and received a net foreign inflow of 18 million rupees, due to low share prices and discounted shares followed by a dividend announcement.

The market generated a revenue of 554 million rupees, this is the lowest the turnover has been since May 10, while the daily turnover average was 1 billion rupees. From the total generated revenue, the banking sector contributed 120 million rupees, Diversified Banks contributed 115 million rupees and the Capital Goods Industry generated 78 million rupees.

Top losers during trade were Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and Aitken Spence. (Colombo/June06/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka Treasuries yields plunge, 12-month down 318bp

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields plunged across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 12-month yield falling 318 basis points, in one of the biggest one day falls, data from the state debt office showed.

The 3-month yield fell 244 basis points to 23.21 percent.

The 6-mont yield fell 339 basis points to 21.90 percent, along with the 12 months to 19.10 percent.

The short-term yield curve is inverted.

The central bank last week cut its policy rate 250 basis points in a signaling move but is not printing money to enforce the rate cut.

The debt office sold all 140 billion rupees of offered securities. (Colombo/June07/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka forex reserves rise US$722mn in May 2023

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves grew 722 million US dollars to 3,483 million US dollars in May 2023 from 2,761 million US dollars in April, official data showed amid weak credit and better inflows.

Sri Lanka lost almost all its reserve in over two years as the central bank sold reserves and printed money to keep rates down (sterilized reserves sales) including borrowed dollars from India.

Gross official reserves fell to a low of 1,705 million US dollars in September 2022.

Sri Lanka’s central bank hiked rates in April 2022 to slow credit and also stopped printing money after it ran out of borrowed Asian Clearing Union dollars from India.

Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves are made up of both monetary reserves of the central bank and any balances of the Treasury account from loans or grants it gets.

The central bank’s net foreign reserves are still negative after busting up borrowed reserves to suppress rates. By April (before the collection of reserves in May) the central bank’s net reserves were negative by 3.7 billion US dollars.

In May alone 662 million US dollars were bought from the market, Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said.


No pre-determined level to stop Sri Lanka rupee appreciation: CB Governor

Borrowing dollars through swaps and busting them up, was invented by the US Federal Reserve as it was printing money and breaking the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s.

Sri Lanka received a 350 million US dollar tranche from the Asian Development Bank and 331 million US dollars from the IMF to the Treasury for budget support.

The loans can be sold to the central bank by the government to generate rupees and spend. However, since credit is weak, not all the inflows go out of the country particularly as the central bank is conducting deflationary open market operations on a net basis.

By allowing the rupee to appreciate unlike in previous episodes of recovery in an IMF program, after a bout of money printing, the central bank is bringing down inflation – in some cases absolute prices – and restoring confidence and easing the ‘pain’ of ‘monetary policy’ or stimulus.


Why is Sri Lanka’s rupee appreciating?

Though exports are falling, tourism revenues are also picking up.

The budget support loans, tourism receipts less the reserve collected will widen the trade deficit. Building foreign reserves involves lending money to the US or other western nations and is similar to repaying foreign debt. (Colombo/June07/2023)

Continue Reading