ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s tourism industry received support from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) to recover from the Easter Sunday bombings, a government statement said.
"Sri Lanka is continuing to attract global support for the quick revival of its tourism industry which took a heavy blow following the terrorist attacks last month," a Tourism Ministry statement said.
It said that ICCA’s Asia Pacific Chapter held a special meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, called by the association’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific Noor Ahmad Hamid, at the sidelines of the IMEX trade show for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) tourism.
The association held the meeting to show solidarity with Sri Lanka and New Zealand, following terrorist attacks on the two countries.
A minute’s silence was observed when the entire Asia Pacific Region came together to back the two nations in their bid to support the recovery of tourism.
Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) Chairman Kumar De Silva told 200 members of the association that the country in general and the tourism industry in particular were fast returning to normal.
He said that every possible measure has been taken to ensure the safety of visitors and that the country was open for business.
De Silva said that none of Sri Lanka’s major tourism sites were affected by the attacks and that these places remained ready to welcome visitors.
SLCB which is the country’s apex convention organizer is making a determined push to establish Sri Lanka as a hub for MICE tourism in the South Asian region.
He requested the industry to work together to overcome the challenge of global terrorism and invited industry leaders especially in the Asia Pacific region to visit Sri Lanka and witness firsthand how the country has recovered and is ready to welcome visitors.
He termed this turnaround as being ‘So Sri Lanka.’
Last week, United Nations World Tourism Organization Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili requested the global community to offer its unwavering commitment to Sri Lanka Tourism by resuming travel to the country.
The Easter Sunday attacks killed 258 persons, including over 40 foreigners, and wounded over 500.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which it said was carried out by local affiliated organizations.
The Sri Lankan government said that it has caught almost all persons related to the organizations, and the remainder will be arrested soon. (Colombo/May22/2019)