INDIA, which contributes more than half of Sri Lanka’s MICE arrivals, is getting more attention from the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB).
The MICE bureau, along with SriLankan Airlines, organised the largest-ever familiarisation tour last week for more than 75 Indian MICE operators, including meeting planners, incentive experts and media representatives. The programme sought to raise Sri Lanka’s profile as a destination with plenty of MICE options, and showcased convention centres and resorts, among other products.
The familiarisation tour is a step up from the current destination promotion efforts undertaken by SLCB and the flag carrier, which comprise only three roadshows in India a year and smaller scale familiarisation programmes.
MICE arrivals from India have been growing at an annual rate of 10 to 15 per cent over the past few years, according to Achini Dandunnage, SLCB senior manager, who added that a target growth of at least 20 per cent has been set.
Dandunnage said Sri Lanka had drawn meetings organised by India-based divisions of multinational companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Tesco and IBM, and Indian attendance were often strong at conferences organised out of Asia-Pacific.
“We also hope that they (Indian conference attendees) will return to Sri Lanka with their families,” she said.