As another result of its continuous effort of promoting Sri Lanka as a potential Tourism destination, Sri Lanka Tourism participated at SATTE Travel Fair in which was held in Greater Noida, Delhi-NCR, India, from 18th – 20th May, 2022, with 65 Sri Lankan travel and tourism companies. Sri Lanka’s participation was successful for the destination in this year’s SATTE , for it was a collaborative effort of High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi, together with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and 65 travel industry members including SriLankan Airlines, representing Sri Lanka at SATTE 2022, since India is a major source market for Sri Lanka Tourism .
SATTE offers a comprehensive platform to domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry along with national and State Tourism Boards. SATTE is recognized as Asia’s leading travel and tourism exhibition to conduct business, share knowledge, exchange ideas in order to arrive at solution-driven innovations to accelerate the pace of the growth of the industry. SATTE has grown in terms of exhibitions and visitors (including international and domestic buyers) and is today the biggest networking forum for the travel and tourism industry in South Asia.
SATTE is an exceptional trade event which is well-supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India National and International Tourism Boards, Indian and International travel and trade associations and organizations amongst others. 1,200+ exhibitors, 35,000+ trade visitors, 800+ VIPs & delegates, 26 State Tourism Boards from 50+ countries attended SATTE 2022.
The Sri Lanka stand had a floor area of 256.5 sqm, and was a vibrant attraction, with the décor used to decorate the stand highlighted all tourism attractions of Sri Lanka which warmly welcomed the visitors, and gave them a flavour of perfectly blended culture and heritage of Sri Lanka.
Mr. H. G. U. Pushpakumara, Minister, High commission of Sri Lanka ceremoniously opened the Sri Lanka Stand amidst the presence of the officials of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, officials of High Commission of Sri Lanka, and Country Manager of SriLankan Airlines on 18th May, the first day of the event by lighting the traditional oil lamp with the industry members.
India has been identified as one of the fastest growing outbound markets in the world. The UNWTO has ranked India as one of the fastest growing outbound markets in the world with the volume of travellers going up by 25% every year.
Sri Lanka Tourism has identified India as an important source market for Sri Lanka and to provide greater opportunities to Sri Lankan travel industry to engage with the members of SATTE.
The interest for exploring new places, the rise in purchasing power, availability of direct and low fare international flights are the key drivers for the growth of the Indian travel segment. Sri Lanka plays a crucial role here as the destination is as No.3 most talked about ‘tropical south east Asian’ travel destination. 98% of trips to Sri Lanka were for leisure purposes, mostly visited for wildlife and beaches.
There is strong flight connectivity to main cities of India with SriLankan Airlines, Indigo, Air India, Vistara, etc. Although majority of travel bookings are made offline (Agents and OTA platforms) travellers are increasingly preferring to book online, especially with regards to lodging.
Leading hotel chains such as Shangri-La, Movenpick, Radisson opened in Colombo, while Grand Hyatt and ITC hotels are scheduled to launch. This is indication of wide interest from luxury hotel chains. New tourism zones, spanning from beaches to mountains and forests create new avenues for tourism sector in areas such as luxury travel, eco-tourism, health and wellness, etc.
MICE, Incentive, Casino, Wedding and honeymoon, Leisure, Youth, Golf Tours, Ramayanaya, Buddhist pilgrim tours, etc. are the main products Sri Lanka can offer for Indians all year round.
All the co-exhibitors at Sri Lanka stand who represented Sri Lanka Tourism industry succeeded in strengthening existing businesses and establishing new business contacts throughout the fair. They were satisfied with quality of business contacts they made during the event. The public and trade visitors also displayed a particularly keen interest in Sri Lanka as a tourist destination whereas their response was extremely positive. The positive progress achieved by Sri Lanka at SATTE India 2022 confirmed its position as an important marketing instrument in the region for the local tourism industry.
Further confirming its importance as one of the key source markets for Sri Lanka, over sixty-one thousand tourist arrivals from India was recorded up to May 2022.