In an attempt to strengthen its association with th Indian tourism sector, SriLankan Airlines recently hosted the visiting delegates of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) in Colombo, where they were to attend the annual conference of its North India chapter
In an attempt to strengthen its association with th Indian tourism sector, SriLankan Airlines recently hosted the visiting delegates of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) in Colombo, where they were to attend the annual conference of its North India chapter. The evening was attended by H E Y K Sinha, high commissioner of India to Sri Lanka; Arindam Bagchi, deputy high commissioner; Esha Srivastava, first secretary (press, information and culture); Siva Ramachandran, chief commercial officer, SriLankan Airlines; Saminda Perera, general manager, marketing, SriLankan Airlines; Dimuthu Tennakoon, general manager, commercial operations, SriLankan Airlines; Lalith De Silva, regional manager, Indian sub-continent, SriLankan Airlines; Rajan Sehgal, chairman, TAAI and members of TAAI Northern India chapter.
Chinthaka Weerasinghe, manager – North India, SriLankan Airlines, said, “We were delighted when the Northern India chapter of TAAI chose Sri Lanka to host their annual conference at a time when Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the most sought-after destinations among Indian tourists. The tourist inflow from India shows a remarkable growth over the years and we are happy to extend our hospitality, convenient connectivity and specially designed packages to Indian travellers. North India also happens to be the highest revenue generating region for Sri Lankan Airlines from a pan-India perspective. This is mainly due to the contribution of all our travel partners.”
Sri Lanka’s potential as a strong leisure and MICE destination among Indian travellers was discussed among the dignitaries. The delegates also expressed their interest to promote Sri Lanka for heritage, pilgrimage and destination weddings. With its presence in the Indian sub-continent, SriLankan currently operates 100 weekly flights out of 11 Indian cities.
As oneworld member representing the South Asia region, SriLankan is also a part of the special fare programme, “South Asian Sub-Continent pass,” which covers SriLankan’s entire network of India and Male, Maldives.
Last year, Sri Lanka experienced the highest number of tourist arrivals in history with a figure exceeding 1.8 million. The number of arrivals from India has experienced a growth of 30 per cent with a figure of over 320,000. According to the half-yearly figure for 2016, India has generated the highest number of tourists arriving in Sri Lanka, which translates to 170,000 tourist arrivals, which is expected to exceed the 400,000 mark by the end of the year.