MICE Affairs Media Group, News Bureau, 23rd March 2023
About 80 Indian MICE Buyers from different provinces of India attended the first-ever MICE Expo in Srilanka, hosted and organized by Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and Srilankan Airlines recently in Colombo at Shangri-La Hotel.
A Total of 105 Global Hosted Buyers from India, Far East, Europe and other parts of the world marked their presence at MICE oriented business event organized by Srilanka Convention Bureau & Srilankan Airlines.
The event was inaugurated by Mr. Harin Fernando, Tourism Minister of Srilanka with other key dignitaries from the country into MICE Space.
“Srilanka is the right fit for MICE Projects as we have all necessary MICE Offerings to make an event memorable. Be it Infrastructure, Venues, Food and Experience, we have it all. What Srilanka can offer to your MICE guests is a variety of Excursions, Beaches, Nightlife, Hills, Wildlife and the Perfect MICE Experience. We are a year-round destination and ready to welcome MICE groups to experience Srilankan Hospitality in Style.” Tourism Minister shared in his opening speech.
“Srilanka has already bagged few High-Volume MICE projects from India including Tata Steel & Lupin Laboratories. Moreover TAAI (Travel Agent Association of India) has confirmed their Annual Convention in Srilanka. ZEE TV is also going to shoot a reality show in Jaffna” shared Fernando.
As per the official stats, a total of 250 applications were received to attend the event as hosted buyer. Following a two-tier scrutiny mechanism, 105 Buyers were hosted to attend the Srilanka MICE Expo.
The format of event featured an all-inclusive Srilankan MICE Experience. Starting with Arrival Lunch Meet at Taj Colombo, Business Session at Galle Face Hotel and Gala Dinner at the Lotus Tower Colombo to complete the Day 1 of event. Day 2 included B2B meetings at Shangrila Colombo, which went on till evening being the main highlight of the event. And Later a Gala Dinner was organized Cinnamon Life Resort.
The organizers of the show had left no stone unturned to make the event worth remembering.
“We are extremely delighted to receive such response for the first physical Srilanka MICE Expo. Buyers have shown great interest in the destination and we are positive on the outcome of these meetings, which shall result into generating MICE Revenue for Srilanka.” Stated Thisum Jayasuriya, Chairman Srilanka Convention Bureau.
“Srilanka MICE Expo has created a niche platform for MICE Buyers and Sellers to discuss business for MICE in Srilanka. We are extremely positive of the outcome of the first-ever MICE Expo. I am sure the events of these kinds shall position Srilanka as the most preferrable MICE Destination for Global MICE Fraternity” commented Krishantha Fernando, General Manager, SLCB.
Srilanka MICE Expo was supported by SLAPCEO (Srilanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition & Event Organisers), the only Association from Srilanka representing the MICE Industry. President of SLAPCEO, Mr. Imran Hassan shared “Last MICE Expo in Srilanka was a virtual one and this time we have taken the next step to make it a physical event. And the response has been great. SLCB, Srilankan Airlines and SLAPCEO have come together to position Srilanka as an All-Time MICE Destination by showcasing the MICE Offerings of the nation. We shall continue to support such initiatives in the future to connect MICE Buyers from various parts of the world with Srilankan MICE Industry”
“For Srilankan Airlines, India is one of the major source-market and right now we are flying from 9 cities in India with close to 100 weekly flights. We are there to handle Indian MICE Groups with utmost comfort and convenience. We do have special arrangements for MICE groups, starting from separate Check In counters, Announcement/Recognition in the flight and a special pricing offer, which we work out for MICE Groups. We do take care of MICE Delegates till the time they fly back to their destination country. Srilanka MICE Expo has proved its worth by bringing in quality buyers from different countries and we are proud to be a partner for the same” shared Dimuthu Tennakoon, Head of Worldwide Sales & Distribution, Srilankan Airlines Ltd.
From India, few corporate buyers also attended the event to check the destination’s MICE offerings. Few names included HDFC Ergo, HearU and Ancalima Lifesciences Ltd. There was an equal representation of MICE Club (A Community of MICE Affairs Media Group), where MICE Planners like Travel Pro, Zest Journeys, Abovo Travels discussed business with Srilankan MICE Sellers.
MICE Affairs Media Group spoke to few Indian Buyers during the event to get their feedback.
Mr. Shakeel H Rizvi, Director HearU shared “It was an amazing experience to participate at Srilanka MICE Expo. The destination has great MICE offerings for Incentive Groups, which can turn the event into an experiential MICE Project. We have made great connects with Srilankan MICE Industry through this event and we really look forward to organize our next event in Srilanka very soon”
“Sri Lanka is a beautiful Island Nation where everything starts with an expression, "AYUBOWAN!”, which means, "May You Enjoy Long Life". What a Blessing! Their Tourism Theme is "So Sri Lanka - Warm & Welcoming", to which the delegates and participants at the recently concluded first ever SriLanka MICE Expo were the real beneficiaries. We not only got to experience their Warm Hospitality but also discovered that this beautiful nation is a wonderful MICE destination as it is home to the most beautiful Beaches, World Heritage Sites including The Ramayana Trails, Wild Life, Natural & Green Scenic Beauty, Festivals and Events, Theme based Activities & Adventure, Wedding & Honeymoon places, Ayurveda & Spa treatments, Shopping & Entertainment including a scintillating Night Life. They offer a variety of accommodation options ranging from Heritage Estates to ultra-modern Hotels & Resorts. Most Importantly, during my approximately 1200 KMs of touring the country side post the Expo, I found the country very Safe and having a World Class Road infrastructure with a very pleasing & inviting roadside establishments full of Hospitable Staff” stated Sunil S, A Corporate Travel & MICE Head from India.
“I think Srilanka is a mother country of nature. So beautiful so clean and so peaceful. it’s a destination where one can relax themselves and also explore the country to its fullest. I am glad and obliged to be invited by Srilanka Convention Bureau for the wonderful event and experience great hospitality, it was great knowing multiple strategic partners and having fruitful interaction with them. I intend to thank the entire team of SL MICE Expo 2023 and of particular to SL Tourism Minister, SLCB Chairman & General Manager, all the sponsors like Hoteliers and Sri Lankan Airlines, and other supporting partners to organise such a wonderful event and extending great hospitality to all hosted buyers. B2B session during the said Expo was of great interest and productive. I shall certainly come back to explore more of Sri Lanka. Indeed it was an exceptionally successful event; I got many new insights on promoting Sri Lanka as a MICE destination. Wishing all the best to SLCB in getting MICE Events at earliest possible. Looking forward to collaborating on new opportunities with Sri Lanka Tourism” stated Ms. Khadija Bagasrawala, Procurement Manager - MICE, Travel & Events at HDFC ERGO
“Attending MICE expo in Sri Lanka was an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insights about the latest trends and developments in the MICE in Srilanka. It was great to meet hotels, event planners, conference facilities, and other service providers” shared Mr. Shiv Charan, Director Abovo Travels Pvt Ltd.
“Srilanka Mice EXPO has provided us the right platform to understand Srilankan MICE Offerings and reconnect with the local MICE Industry in the country. We at TravelPro were able to understand the latest in Srilankan MICE enabling us to offer a complete Srilankan MICE Experience to our valued corporate clients” shared Mr. Yadvendra Singh, Director, TravelPro
“Srilanka MICE Expo was a thoughtfully organized event and it has given deeper insights into what Srilanka offers as a MICE Destination. I am sure this investment is destined to bring boundless returns” shared Mr. Sudhakar Gautam, Director, Enchanting Escapes Pvt Ltd
"It was a pleasure to participate in the Sri Lanka MICE Expo 2023 held in Colombo. The event was very well organised and offered meaningful avenues to experience and learn about the wonderful MICE facilities and offerings of the country while also getting a chance to network with the key stakeholders of the MICE sector. I congratulate the Organisers for the huge success of this event" shared Nidhi Sharma, Executive Director, Indian Exhibition Industry Association