Sri Lanka at Dublin Holiday World Show | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka at Dublin Holiday World Show

The enthusistic crowd at the Sri Lanka stall
The enthusistic crowd at the Sri Lanka stall

Sri Lanka Tourism attended the Holiday World Show for consumers and trade in Dublin, Ireland for the fifth time. Ireland is a country with a population of just over 4.7million, and a tremendous appetite for travel that shows no signs of declining. Since attending the holiday show in January last year, we have had a 23.9% growth on the Irish market with 9,806 visitors coming to SL in 2017.

The Holiday World Show, now in their 27th year, provided a cost-effective opportunity to connect face-to-face with the trade and travel hungry consumers to promote our travel and tourism products to consumers across Ireland.

This is the only show in Ireland where one can meet more than 500 travel professionals from 50 countries. Visitors had the opportunity to experience the locations that were on offer and were privy to first hand advice from the travel professionals.

The exhibition was attended by over 750 travel and tourism professionals, representing more than 50 different countries / tourist boards. During this year’s January Holiday Show, 41,433 visitors including trade delegates and public attended and 584 exhibitors participated. During the show, SLTPB managed to disseminate a large number of Sri Lanka themed / specific brochures and fact sheets.

During the three-day show, SLTPB managed to have meetings with large numbers of trade partners as well. Goody bags containing Sri Lankan gifts were presented to few leading Irish tour operators for their efforts. Among them were Go Hop, Insight Vacations and GTI Travel Specialists.

Meetings were held with journalists in view of arranging individual trips or a media FAM to get maximum publicity for their destination in the Irish market.

On the opening day, Nalin Perera from SLTPB represented Sri Lanka at the opening ceremony of the Holiday World Show. The chief guest was Shane Ross TD - Minister of Transport, Tourism & Sport in Ireland and Cormac Meehan, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association.

After the opening ceremony, on a request made by the UK office, SLTPB organised a meeting with the VIPs to brief them on the progress of Sri Lanka tourism in the Irish market and their vision for the future. The Minister was pleased with the 23.9% growth that we have achieved and requested us to assist them to bring visitors from Sri Lanka to Ireland. Two very special Sri Lankan gifts were presented by Nalin Perera to Shane Ross TD - Minister for Tourism in Ireland and to Ms.Maureen Ledwith, Sales Director of Business Exhibitions Ltd, the company behind the Holiday World exhibition with the presence of Cormac Meehan - President of the Irish Travel Agents Association.

Eoghan Corry is an international award winning Irish journalist and Editor of Travel Extra, regarded as the most extensively journeyed travel writer in Ireland; he visited SL in 2015 with the journalist FAM. Free travel and tourism seminars titled “Let’s talk Travel” were conducted by him at the show. In one of his seminars he highlighted Sri Lanka as one of the best destinations to travel in 2018. In recognition of his efforts in promoting the destination in the Irish market, a special Sri Lankan gift was presented to him.

This year, Trail Finders highlighted Sri Lanka very prominently. Their competition at the show was a holiday to Sri Lanka and together with that, a very special offer package was promoted through their large screen at the show. Few other tour operators also had special offers to Sri Lanka which were highlighted prominently at the show through various leaflets.

According to the Central Statistics Office in Ireland, there was an increase of 7.2% in the number of overseas trips made by Irish residents to other countries in 2017 to 7.9 million.