Australian Tour Operators Chairman meets Tourism Minister

Sri Lanka Tourism billboard on an Australian highway.

In order to revive the tourism industry, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, has invited the heads of Tour Operator Associations worldwide to visit Sri Lanka after the 21/4 incident.

According to this invitation, Dennis Bunnik, Chairman of the Council of Australian Tour Operators, (CATO) recently met Minister Amaratunga and other Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) officials in Sri Lanka. He was also accompanied by Mr. Bishop, General Manager of Bunnik Tours operation in Sri Lanka.

Australia has proven to be a very resilient market for Sri Lanka in 2018. Tourist arrivals from Australia recorded a total of 110,928 and a growth rate of 37 per cent during this period. In 2019, the expected target of tourist arrivals from Australia is seen over 149,000, and this number does not account for visitors holding dual passports.

Australia has an outbound travel of 8.4 million within its population of 23.77 million.

SLTPB conducts promotions through participating in trade fairs, special consumer events, and conducting tour operator programmes and FAM visits.

Subsequently between March–July this year, a bill board advertising campaign was carried out in Melbourne and Sydney.

During his visit to Sri Lanka, Mr. Bunnik said that Sri Lanka is a fast selling tourist destination which has the potential to attract a large number of tourist arrivals due to its cultural and natural resources and various holiday opportunities. He has seen the market picking up rapidly with queries to visit Sri Lanka. He further said that none of his clients had cancelled any of their visits or postponed them.