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Sri Lanka puts on a better show at ITB 2012

Mar 9, 2012 3:10:32 PM - www.ft.lk

Sri Lanka is putting on a better show at this year’s edition of the annual International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.
Considered to be the largest global event of the travel industry, ITB 2012 has on show 53 travel/hotel companies including hoteliers, travel agents and other organisations that provide tourism related services.

The Sri Lankan promotion at ITB 2012 takes place at a time when the tourism sector is enjoying rapid development with exciting new ventures, tourist attractions and a fleet of new exclusive resorts and hideaways.
The number of German tourists to Sri Lanka alone has surpassed 55,880 in 2011 indicating a very good potential for Sri Lanka in the German tourist market.
It is the 44th consecutive year of participation at ITB by Sri Lanka. The stand of Sri Lanka numbering 114 is located in the Asia Region adjoining SriLankan Airlines in the Hall 05.2a.
Sri Lanka’s 268sqm by 30sqm upper deck at the stall was specially designed to appear more open and inviting to the visitors and thereby to convey the message of the ‘unique’ openness of the Sri Lankan culture. It also enables the visitors to make easier and more intense contacts with the Sri Lankan travel industry representatives and varied attractions of the island.

Another major attraction of the Sri Lanka pavilion was a group of large panels displaying 8 themes depicting various attractions of the island. Inside the pavilion was also decorated promoting some major attractions of the island. In addition, the visitors to the Sri Lankan stall can enjoy a tea boutique promoting the Ceylon tea brand among the German visitors plus a spa room which gives an excellent foot massage.
The tour operators with highest tourist turnouts in 2012 were awarded with Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2012 at a brief ceremony held on Wednesday. The awards were designed with Sri Lankan gems with the intention of promoting the exclusive Sri Lankan gems in Germany.
This event was held with the participation of Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Germany Sarath Kongahage, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and other industry stakeholders. The companies with highest tourist turnouts for the year 2012 were    1st Place – MEIER’S/Dertour – Germany; 2nd Place – FTI Group – Germany and 3rd Place – Rewe Group – Germany.
In addition, a raffle draw will take place during the latter period of the event and the winner would be a proud owner of a blue sapphire, given under the sponsorship of N.G.J.A. Ellawala Exports, a leading gem exporter in Sri Lanka.