Sri Lanka will be organising a MICE – EXPO 2023 tradeshow in Colombo next month, its first business events-dedicated tradeshow aimed at portraying the country as an attractive destination for meetings and business events.
Taking place from March 13-15, 2023, at the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo, the event is organised by state-owned Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) in partnership with national carrier SriLankan Airlines.
SriLankan Airlines will be bringing over 100 participants from South-east Asia, the Middle East and Europe, where around half of the invitees hail from India, one of its top inbound markets.
Speaking at the recent launch of the event, tourism minister Harin Fernando said that the tradeshow “will be a huge opportunity for local service providers to gain global exposure and attract new customers”.
This would help improve Sri Lanka’s economy, and ease the pressure on its foreign reserves, he added. On average, a business events traveller spends up to three times more than a leisure tourist.
Organisers also intend to use MICE – EXPO 2023 as a platform to create awareness about the value that Sri Lanka has to offer the world, in other aspects aside from business events, such as tourism and investment.
Tourism in Sri Lanka is recovering from a few disastrous years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with an economic downturn. Arrivals last year totalled 719,978, much higher than 194,495 recorded in 2021. SLCB’s aim is to welcome 1.5 million visitors this year.