Embassy of Sri Lanka in Vietnam hosts tourism promotion seminar

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Hanoi in close coordination with Sri Lankan Tourism conducted a comprehensive seminar to promote tourism from Vietnam to Sri Lanka. The seminar was attended by over 50 travel agents, media personnel, tourism promotional institutions and senior officials of International Cooperation Department of National Administration of Tourism, amongst others. The seminar lasted over two hours and a number of promotional videos, presentations and Q&A sessions as well as authentic Sri Lanka cuisine was served to the invitees/guests, thus convincing most of them of the hidden and unexplored touristic attributes and attractions that Sri Lanka poses to potential Vietnamese tourists and travelers.

The formal event, which was held at the Chancery of the Embassy, commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Ambassador – Designate, Prof. A. Saj U. Mendis, along with Ms Tran Thi Phuong Nhung, Director of International Cooperation Department of Vietnam, Vice President & General Secretary of Vietnam Travel Agents known as VISTA, Ms Giang Bien and President of the Media Club of Hanoi, Nguyen Duc Xuyen as well as senior officials of the Embassy. The opening remarks of the seminar were delivered by Prof Mendis, along with translation to Vietnamese, and profiled over 60- powerpoint slides in order to make the guests and invitees from the travel agencies and tourism promotional institutions to comprehend and persuade the intrinsic touristic attributes that Sri Lanka offers as no other country. Most of the travel agents and tourism promotional institutes were not much aware of the natural beauty, endowments and unique and iconic touristic attractions of Sri Lanka.

The seminar was coordinated by the Minister Counsellor (Commercial), Ms Kishani Wickramasinghe, with Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) and the Chairman of SLT Promotional Bureau (SLTPB), Chalaka Gajabahu, President of Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), Nishad Wijetunga and President of Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), Shanthikumar, as well as Director of International Cooperation Department of Vietnam, and General Secretary of Vietnam Society of Travel Agents addressed the seminar. The recorded addresses from Chairman of SLTPB, President of SLAITO and President of THASL conveyed highly persuasive and compelling messages to the Vietnamese travel agents and tourism promotional institutions, as well as the media personnel.

The speakers accentuated that Sri Lanka has been chosen as one of the most favoured destinations by a number of noted and reputed organizations including but not limited to “Lonely Planet”, ‘CNN’ , “BBC Good Food”, and “National Geographics”.

The recorded messages were subtitled in Vietnamese language and major touristic attractions of Sri Lanka were profiled such as Esala Perahera (Pagent) in Kandy, train rides, religious tourism, breath-taking beaches and tea gardens and unique UNESCO sites as well as adventure tourism and Sri Lankan cuisine, amongst others. A couple of FAM (familiarization) tour participants to Sri Lanka, sponsored by SLTPB, also spoke of their unforgettable and memorable experiences in Sri Lanka. Since the COVID pandemic has disrupted tourism industry on a global basis, Prof Mendis and Chairman of SLTPB as well as others stated that Sri Lanka is now fully open to welcome tourists and travelers, particularly from Vietnam since the tourism from Vietnam to Sri Lanka is basically minimal. In year 2022, approximately 10 million Vietnamese have travelled out of the country, mostly to ASEAN countries, Japan, China, and South Korea. Both Prof Mendis and Ms Wickramasinghe, during their remarks and presentations, stated that if Sri Lanka could capture not 1% of Vietnamese travelers but only 0.5% of the travelers to Sri Lanka, it would translate to 50.000. Today, Vietnam is amongst the fastest-growing economies not only in Asia but in the entire world with a large middle-income population, who are eager to travel out of the country either for vacation or business.

Vietnam is a nation with a population of over 100 million and has immense and increasing potential for Sri Lanka to attract and woo tourists from Vietnam.


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