Business

Sri Lanka eyes 111,000 French tourists in 2018

Sri Lanka plans to attract 111,000 French tourists in 2018, to build on the 11% growth it witnessed last year when 97,282 French tourists visited the island.

France is the 5th largest tourism source market for Sri Lanka, behind India, China, UK and Germany.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) announced this arrivals target ahead of the opening of the International France Travel Mart at Paris Porte De Versailles this week aimed at increasing destination awareness among French tourists.

For the first eight months of the year, Sri Lanka has attracted 1,582,835 tourists overall, up 12.5% year on year.

Sri Lanka Tourism is expected to attract 30 local travel agents to the fair this year thus by increasing space up to 154 sqm to accommodate them. The Sri Lanka stand will also feature Sri Lankan Air Lines booth and other attractions such as Tea Counter, Selfie Point, Tourism counter and Large LED Screen to project videos and a Sri Lankan dance troupe will do cultural performances at the stall daily.

IFTM Top Resa is one of the most sought after travel fairs and the only event in the French market covering all facets of tourism ranging from leisure, business travel, groups & MICE. International French Travel Mart (IFTM) is the largest professional travel fair which was historically held in Deauville, France which was previously called as TOP RESA till it was renamed in 2009 and is held now at Paris Porte De Versailles.

“IFTM is the prime meeting place, marketplace, and a driving force behind the French market and in the International tourism industry. Sri Lanka has seen an increase in tourist arrivals from France over the years and it is envisaged that this fair, opened by Sri Lanka, will increase its visibility and showcase the potential the country offers,” said SLTPB Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam.

This year the fair will be held from the 25th -28th September 2018 in Porte de Versailles, Paris, France, Pavilion 7.0. Over 32,480 tourism and travel industry professionals attended the previous edition in 2017 which featured offers from 1,700 exhibiting brands.