ITB Berlin is an excellent platform to interact with high level tourism stakeholders and key decision makers from many tourism related industries globally.
Meeting with Etihad and the Hon minister
Improving and creating direct airline connectivity from Europe to Sri Lanka and linking up with German Travel Associationswere major focus areas of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) during ITB 2018.
Dirk Inger, Managing Director and Volker Adams, Head of Political Affairs of the Deutscher Reise Verband (DRV) known as German Travel Association was optimistic on arranging a trade familiarization tour of Sri Lanka for a large group of members of their association. This was expressed at the meeting held during ITB 2018 with DRV, senior officials of SLTPB and Sri Lanka Embassy in Germany.
Welcoming the proposal, SLTPB assured DRV that Sri Lanka Tourism in collaboration with the tourism industry stakeholders of Sri Lanka would provide the necessary support which will have a mutual benefit for Germany and Sri Lanka. Facilitation of the tour in Sri Lanka and arrangement of B2B sessions were also discussed at the meeting to make the trade familiarization tour a success.
Meeting with DRV German Travel Association - Standing from left to right – Sutheash Balasubramanium, Managing Director, SLTPB, HE Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Ambassador of Sri Lanka for Germany, Dirk Inger, Managing Director, DRV, Ahamad Razee, First Sectretary & Head of Chancery of the Sri Lanka Embassy, Volker Adams, Head of Political Affairs, DRV
DRV is a leading tourism association consisting of tour operators, travel agents as well as associated members such as airlines, railways linked to the tourism industry. DRV represents approximately 85% of the total revenue of the German Travel and agency tour operator market. DRV supportsthe interest of small, mid- size and large companies in the travel industry in Germany.Hosting such an event in Sri Lanka will pave the way to gain new contacts within the German tourism industry.
With regards to travel connectivity, Vice President of Edelweisss Airlines met officials of SLTPB to discuss promotional activities related to its inaugural flight to Sri Lanka in November 2018. Edelweiss is a Swiss leisure airline wholly owned by Swiss International Airline which is part of the Lufthansa Group. In the lead up to the inaugural flight, SLTPB agreed to arrange a group of high profile foreign journalists and bloggers on a familiarization tour of Sri Lanka. This will ensure maximum support to make this venture a success. Additionally, number of promotional activities are being planned by the airline to create awareness of the destination.
Meeting with Lufthansa Group. From Left to right - Standing from left to right –Madubhani Perera – Director Marketing, Ahamad Razee, First Sectretary & Head of Chancery of the Sri Lanka Embassy, Sutheash Balasubramanium, Managing Director, SLTPB, Dr. Kay Lindemann, Head of Policy of Lufthansa group, HE Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Ambassador of Sri Lanka for Germany
Dr. Kay Lindemann, Head of Policy of Lufthansa group expressed interest to start direct connectivity with Eurowings, which is a German based airline of Lufthansa group catering to budget traveler.
Patrick Pierce, VP, Marketing Partnership of Etihad was optimistic on the growth potential in the European-Colombo sector for leisure Travel. Minister Amaratunga who chaired the meeting requested for greater co-operation with the airline to bring more traffic to Sri Lanka. At the meeting, Etihad offered complimentary airline tickets to the winners of the social media competition carried out by Sri Lanka Tourism during ITB.
Meeting with Edelweisss Airlines which has scheduled the inaugural flight to Sri Lanka in November 2018.
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