The Asia Pacific Chapter of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) called for a special meeting to extend its support to Sri Lanka and New Zealand on May 20.
The meeting was convened by the Regional Director of ICCA, Asia Pacific, Noor Ahmad Hamid to show solidarity towards the two countries that recently experienced terror attacks. The association observed a minute of silence during the event. It was held on the sidelines of IMAX, the world’s leading MICE event currently being held in Frankfurt, Germany.
The ICCA, established in 1963 specialises in the international association meetings sector and has over 1100 member companies and organisations in 100 countries.
Addressing the meeting with over 200 ICCA Asia Pacific members, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), Kumar De Silva was in attendance. He emphasised that Sri Lanka is now open for business and that every measure to ensure the safety of visitors has now been implemented.
He reminded attendees that none of the island’s renowned sites were affected by the unfortunate events and that these locations are ready to welcome guests.
Known for its stringent criteria for selecting destinations, the ICCA recognised Sri Lanka as a venue suitable for international MICE events in 2015, after years of consistent work carried out by SLBC.
In 2017 India was Sri Lanka’s top source market for MICE visitors. Of the total visitors numbers from India 27.4 percent were travelling to Sri Lanka for MICE SLTDA data shows.
In the aftermath of the Easter attacks, India’s arrival numbers dropped by 21.5 percent in April. India also issued a travel advisory warning its citizens against non-essential travel to Sri Lanka.
Last week, as a sign of support towards the tourism sector, the Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) said that they plan to hold their next annual general meeting in Sri Lanka in July or August.