Lanka’s wellness tourism sector participates in ‘Arab Health 2019’ | Sunday Observer

Lanka’s wellness tourism sector participates in ‘Arab Health 2019’

Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism sector representatives participated at Arab Health Exhibition and Congress in Dubai recently.

About 100-120 initial business contacts were made, a member of the delegation said.

Most of the Arab clients requested for short holiday packages averaging three or four days which will be cost effective and companies are in the process of designing such packages.

The best offerings of the Sri Lanka wellness tourism sector was showcased to Arab clients and most of the travel agents and it was revealed that there is a huge potential for Sri Lanka to promote Wellness Tourism.

Each company conducted nearly 15-20 business meetings with potential clients, influential travel agents during the exhibition which could result to the future business developments of the companies. The new business contacts generated in this event with the potential agents would create the platform to increase business in the best interest of Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka Consulate in Dubai and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Export Development Board (EDB) organised this event as a collaborative program.

The six companies that participated were: Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resort - Wadduwa,

Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort - Beruwala, Heritance Ayurveda Mahagedara - Beruwala, Sen Wellness Sanctuary - Tangalle, Tree of Life - Kandy and

Reefs Edge (Kaya Resort) - Uswetakeiyawa, Negombo.

The main focus was on introducing Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism offerings to the GCC countries as new service area and to build up business relationships between the two countries. The Managing Director of Tree of Life, Shelly Thenuwara said, “The program was very helpful for us to find potential clients, identify the specific client base, market segments/ intelligent/analysis to enter Middle Eastern Countries.”

Managing Director, Sen Wellness Sanctuary, Tangalle, Sudheera Kankanamge said, “It was the vision of the organising committee in providing a new working forum for our members in a pleasant and comfortable environment which helped to make our vision a reality in today’s modern wellness world as we continue to grow as a chapter.”

The General Manager, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, Janaka Buddhakorala said, “We had quite a number of potentially successful meetings pre-arranged by the consulate and we identified that there is a huge vacuum for Wellness Tourism in the market in the region.” In the previous year EDB organised specific events for Wellness Tourism sector by inviting world renouned wellness tourism experts such as Dr. Franz Linser of Linser Hospitality, Austria and Ms. Stella Photi of Wellbeing Escape, London to evaluate the readiness of people to cater/attract the wellness travelers from UK/ EU to Sri Lanka and conducted two Industry seminars with the participation of over 100 participants each.

On the recommendations given by these two experts; EDB is now taking the initiative of developing National Brand for Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism sector to position the sector internationally. EDB has also taken the lead role to establish Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism Association and its initial meeting was held with the representatives of the related companies.

The EDB has identified Wellness Tourism as a focus sector in the National Export Strategy (NES) which aimed at global positioning of the sector by country branding and promotion in the key target markets including Middle East.

This strategy seeks to make Sri Lanka the ‘preferred destination for wellbeing’ in the region. Considering the above strategic objectives, organizing this event was a significant experience for Wellness Tourism sector where the companies could witnessed that there is a huge potential for Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism sector in the market and the region.

The EDB is encouraging the Sri Lankan Wellness Tourism sector to achieve the overall national Wellness Tourism goals of reaching more foreign exchange revenue to the country.

The EDB will organise similar programs in other countries to explore business opportunities for Sri Lankan Wellness Tourism Sector with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the future as well.