THE Sri Lanka MICE Travel Mart originally scheduled for February/March in Colombo has been pushed back due to unavoidable circumstances, said organisers, who are now considering holding the event between May and July.
Vipula Wanigasekera, general manager of Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), said: “Owing to the change of government and fresh elections in the next few months, we are rescheduling the dates.”
The event is expected to gather hosted buyers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam for one-to-one meetings and new product showcases.
“Priority will be given to those who haven’t been to Sri Lanka before,” Wanigasekera added.
Sri Lanka held its presidential electons in January this year and fresh parliamentary polls will be conducted in June. Recent appointments to cabinet include Navin Dissanayake, the new tourism minister.
Wanigasekera said Dissanayake is keen on MICE tourism and wants more promotions in this area with a focus on value versus numbers, for more high-spending MICE travellers over leisure tourists.
The authorities are aiming to use government representatives attending conferences abroad to promote Sri Lanka as a conference destination. “We want these government officials – after proper training and advice on how to make a bid or letter of interest – to bid for these conferences to be held in Sri Lanka,” said Wanigasekera.