• A joint plan for tourism promotion between France and Sri Lanka.
  • Government pays more attention to boost tourism industry which collapsed due to Covid pandemic.
  • French State Secretary of Tourism assures that France will support the development of Sri Lanka's tourism industry.

The Annual International French Tourism Trade Fair (IFTM TOP RESA 2021) kicked off yesterday (05).  It will be held from (05) to 08 in Paris, France.  The exhibition was opened by the State Secretary of Tourism of France, Mr.JEAN BATISTE LIMOYNE.  Minister of Tourism,Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga was also present at the occasion.  Sri Lanka has resumed its participation in international tourism exhibitions in the face of Covid pandemic and this is the second exhibition that Sri Lanka has participated in this year.

Sri Lanka has been participating in this tourism trade fair for many years and this time, 16 Sri Lankan travel agencies are participating in the exhibition where nearly 170 countries are also participating.  With over 200 destinations, 1700 brands and 34,000 travel professionals participating in this trade fair, this year's trade fair will feature about 150 sessions.

The exhibition stall of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority was opened under the patronage of Minister of Tourism,Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga and with the participation of Hon. Tharaka Balasuriya, State Minister of Regional Cooperation, Hon.Sahan Pradeep Withana, Member of Parliament, Mr.S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Mr.Nimesh Herath, Coordinator of the Ministerial Advisory Committee of the Tourism Development Authority, Mr.Rukshan Mallawarachchi, Coordinating Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Mr.Viranga Bandara,Marketing Officer of  Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

SriLankan Airlines also presented a stall for the exhibition, which was opened by Minister of Tourism,Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga.Mr. Ashok Pathirage, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines and several others were present at the occasion.  After viewing the exhibition, a special discussion was held between the Minister of Tourism,Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga and the State Secretary of Tourism  of France at the exhibition stall of the Tourism Development Authority.

The two sides focused on the implementation of a joint tourism development campaign between Sri Lanka and France.  Minister of Tourism,Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga pointed out that the Government of Sri Lanka has paid more attention to uplift  the tourism industry which was  badly affected by the Covid pandemic, adding that with the Covid vaccination programme, Sri Lanka has become a safer country for tourists.  State Secretary of Tourism of France, Mr.JEAN BATISTE LIMOYNE stated that France fully supports the promotion of tourism and investment in Sri Lanka.

The Minister pointed out that the world tourism industry has become very critical due to the spread of the Covid pandemic around the world and that a well-planned campaign should be implemented with all countries around the world to recover from that situation.  He also said that a special action plan will be implemented for rebuilding the industry in post Covid era.  The Minister pointed out that Sri Lanka has attracted the attention of French tourists as an attractive destination.  He further stated that France was one of the countries from which most tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2019.

Minister of Tourism,Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga participated in several special discussions at the Tourism Development Authority's stall yesterday.  Discussions were also held with representatives of French tourism organizations.  The Minister requested that more French tourists be attracted to Sri Lanka in the near future.  He also said that Sri Lanka is ready to implement special programs for them.


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