The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), the largest tourism organization in India, returns to Sri Lanka after 18 years with Airline Partner SriLankan Airlines for their 67th Convention, set to take place from 6 – 9 July 2023 in Colombo. As an airline that is singularly committed to growing tourism in the country and accounts for about 45 per cent of the Indian tourists arriving in Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines takes pride in being part of the Indian travel trade’s premier annual event. The convention is expected to invigorate Indian outbound travel to Sri Lanka following several years of setbacks.
The association plays a leading role in shaping India’s outbound tourism and represents all stakeholders in the Indian travel industry including airlines, tour operators, hotels and transport companies. This year’s convention will draw close to 450 agents and 50 international travel media personalities, some of whom are booked to fly to Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines. Renowned for generating widespread coverage and tourism footfall for the host country every year, the event will certainly help encourage Indian travellers to visit neighbouring Sri Lanka.
A main theme of the 2023 TAAI convention is to strengthen regional tourism, which coincides with SriLankan Airlines’ regional hub strategy, with its prime location in the Indian ocean extending connections to multiple countries to the north, east and west of India. A position which has made SriLankan Airlines and Colombo a preferred carrier and transit hub, respectively, for many Indian travellers heading to and from the Middle East, the Far East, Europe, Australia and the Maldives. SriLankan Airlines currently operates 85 weekly flights between Colombo and the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum, Chennai, Trichy and Madurai.
Dimuthu Tennakoon, Head of Worldwide Sales & Distribution of SriLankan Airlines commented on the airline partnering with TAAI stating, “India holds a special place in the history of SriLankan Airlines for many reasons, and this is reflected in the fact that nearly 40 per cent of our current operations are concentrated to India. We want to continue growing our presence in India with a strategic focus on leisure and MICE travellers and will introduce more flights and cities to our Indian service in the future. It is therefore exciting to collaborate with TAAI on their biggest calendar event, which serves as a strong starting point for a renewed future of travel between India and Sri Lanka.”
The convention is likely to boost the image of Sri Lanka as a safe, convenient and comfortingly familiar vacation spot among Indian travel industry players and travellers. An image, a reality, that SriLankan Airlines takes initiative to promote through its communications in India. As Sri Lanka gets ready to welcome the guests of the TAAI convention, SriLankan Airlines will continue in its role as the present-day maker of journeys between Sri Lanka and India, in a travel tradition dating back millennia.