Sri Lanka participated at the annual IFTM Top Resa (International French Travel Market) that was held in Paris from 18 September to 21 September.
Flagship fair for the tourism sector, IFTM Top Resa brings every year thousands of travel agents from across the world that come to present their products and services to the industry’s production and distribution professionals, states the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris.
The event included a tea tasting service conducted by the Embassy with the assistance of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), where a variety of Sri Lankan tea was presented to the public.
“IFTM is the occasion to consolidate contacts in the French market. It is important for Sri Lanka to show its presence,” highlighted SLTPB’s Udayakumara Liyanage.
Many shared their appreciation in regard to the organisation and coordination provided by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris and SLTPB throughout the fair. “The fair was very well organised and was quite successful for Amaya Resort that got several inquiries. It was, overall, very good,” said Amaya Resorts and Spa Director/Marketing and Sales Denesh Silva.
The positive atmosphere of the fair was reiterated by Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Mahen Kariyawasan).
Talking about NKAR Travels and Tours, Managing Director Nilmin Nanayakkara also highlighted the success of this year’s edition, “In May, in advance to IFTM, NKAR did its own campaign with 20 to 25 visits to tour operators. Many are operating to Asia but not to Sri Lanka. So much opportunity is out there in the market if we make an effort. These visits, along with IFTM, were fruitful for NKAR as we worked in those lines. We were hence able to secure five new accounts at IFTM without undermining any of our colleagues.”
“Top Resa is a good networking opportunity. At the end of the day business, especially in this industry, is done on relationships. Strong relationships make a strong business. At the moment, Sri Lanka is having 20% of increase in terms of arrivals from France. That is why Jetwings Hotels decided to come to Top Resa and the feedback has been good. We met a lot of tour operators, a lot of agents who are very keen to sell Sri Lanka so I think they are getting a lot of request from French people wanting to visit the destination,” said Jetwings Hotels and Travels Head of Sales and Marketing Ishanth Gunewardene.
Since 2010, the attraction of French tourists to Sri Lanka has experienced an important growth. This was confirmed by the vast interest shown by both the professionals and the public throughout the fair.