Sri Lanka Embassy in Brussels hosts tourism promotion workshop in Antwerp

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brussels hosted a tourism promotion workshop titled “Discover Sri Lanka: Unveiling the Island’s Beauty in Belgium” in Antwerp, Belgium, aimed at introducing the fascinating allure of Sri Lanka to Belgian travel operators and tour agencies on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.

Over 80 participants, comprising tour operators, travel agents, bloggers, social media influencers, travel journalists, media professionals, TV professionals, and representatives of airlines, attended the workshop.

The workshop’s highlight was a special video message from Cathy Berx, Governor of the Province of Antwerp, who congratulated Sri Lanka for its commendable efforts in promoting tourism.

In her message, Governor Berx praised Sri Lanka as a natural tourism destination with diverse offerings that make it an ideal choice for travellers seeking authentic and enriching experiences.

Grace Asirwatham, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, took centre stage to provide a comprehensive overview of the tourism landscape in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Asirwatham highlighted the nation’s breathtakingly diverse landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage.

She shared insights into Sri Lanka’s abundant wildlife, lush nature reserves, and the flourishing field of Ayurveda and wellness tourism. The culinary delights of Sri Lanka, renowned for its unique flavours, and the year-round calendar of cultural activities were also spotlighted as reasons for travellers to explore the island nation.

Monique De Decker, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Antwerp, offered a glimpse into the adventurous side of Sri Lanka, emphasizing the exciting prospects of adventure tourism.

She also shared the joy of shopping in Sri Lanka, describing it as a shopper’s paradise. Monique De Decker praised the warmth and hospitality of the Sri Lankan people, ensuring a welcoming experience for all visitors.

Mahen Kariyawasan, a member of the Tourism Advisory Council and past President of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), detailed the extensive array of accommodation options catering to diverse traveller preferences.

He also emphasized the convenience of international connectivity to Sri Lanka and the efficiency of internal transport networks. Mahen Kariyawasan vouched for the affordable and exceptional value for money that Sri Lanka provides tourists.

Sharing his personal experiences, Sjobbe Schellens, a seasoned travel agent, recounted his pleasant interactions with Sri Lanka in promoting tours and conducting business dealings with tour operators in the country. His testimony showed the growing ties between Belgian travel professionals and Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brussels has been actively conducting tourism promotion workshops in several cities and regions in Belgium to foster collaboration with tour operators and travel agencies in Belgium.

The aim is to position Sri Lanka as one of the top preferred destinations for Belgian travellers by showcasing the nation’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and warm hospitality.

Antwerp, often referred to as the commercial capital of Belgium, stands as a bustling city renowned for its strategic port, vibrant business district, and economic significance.

The “Discover Sri Lanka” tourism promotion workshop in Antwerp embraced the promise of positive outcomes by leveraging Antwerp’s strategic location and diverse travel industry.

The workshop presented a unique opportunity to engage with a receptive audience of travel operators, agencies, and bloggers aiming to firmly establish Sri Lanka as a “must-visit” holiday destination for the potential travellers of Antwerp.

Gabriel Peters

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