Sri Lanka President Highlights Potential for BIMSTEC Tourism
6 July 2023
The 67th Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) convention was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 6 July 2023. The event provided a platform for travel and tourism stakeholders from both countries to explore business opportunities and foster bilateral collaboration. It also highlighted the importance of the Indian travel market to Sri Lanka.
In his keynote address, Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted the importance of tourism to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. The President also noted the potential of making the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region one borderless tourist area that offers a wide diversity of sites and cuisines.
The event also highlighted the importance of the Indian travel market to Sri Lanka. Beginning 2022, India has emerged as Sri Lanka’s primary source market for tourism, accounting for 24% of the country’s total tourist arrivals.
Mr. Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, noted that strategic partnerships between India and Sri Lanka are vital to ensure the country's successful tourism recovery.
To further boost tourist arrivals from India, Sri Lanka has also proposed making the Indian rupee a tradable currency in the country.