Sri Lanka, a safe and serene destination for visitors – Ambassador

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Brussels held a Tourism Promotion Workshop in Namur, Belgium, on October 4. The Governor of Namur Province, Denis Mathen, opened the workshop and spoke in favor of promoting Sri Lanka as a holiday destination for the people of the province. This is the first time that a Sri Lankan tourism promotion event has been held in the French-speaking Walloon region.

Around 50 tour operators and agents, travel journalists, television and travel media professionals, travel bloggers, social media influencers, airline representatives and decision-makers from the Belgian tourism industry attended the event. The local television channel, Walloon TV, provided media coverage for the event, adding further reach to Sri Lankan tourism.

Delivering the welcoming speech, Sri Lankan Ambassador to Belgium Grace Asirwatham said that Sri Lanka, popularly recognized as one of the best tourist destinations in the world, was an extremely safe and serene destination for visitors.

Ambassador Asirwatham further explained the post-COVID-19 situation in the country and reported that the country was completely open to tourists from all over the world. He also convinced travel agencies to include Sri Lanka in their list of countries as one of the best destinations for Belgian travellers.

Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Antwerp, Monique De Decker, Managing Director of Andrew The Travel Company (Pvt) Ltd. Mahen Kariyawasan, and Classic Destinations Advisor Ruwan De Alwis, gave presentations to promote the various tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, including major and niche products. Public Market Administrator Michele le Grand-Decharneux shared her best experience with the Sri Lankan travel industry and recommended Sri Lanka as the most attractive holiday destination for Belgian travellers. Representatives from Emirates and Qatar airlines joined the event to promote the cheap and effective connectivity options provided by their respective airlines to facilitate the travel of tourists from Belgium to Sri Lanka. The workshop introduced Sri Lanka as a nature tourism destination with various splendors and grandeurs, golden beaches, incredible features and topographies for everyone to have the trip of a lifetime.

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The number of Belgian travelers visiting Sri Lanka has seen a notable increase since 2010. 5,371 Belgian travelers visited Sri Lanka in 2010, which increased to 17,519 in 2018. In the post-COVID-19 situation, the number of Belgian tourists visiting Sri Lanka is on the rise and stood at 4,783 in 2022 through August. With the Belgian government relaxing its travel advisory for Sri Lanka in September 2022, the travel industry is keen to promote the country as one of the best holiday destinations for Belgian tourists. The Embassy has been organizing similar tourism promotion activities in other major cities such as Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp since 2021 and has decided to continue them as a permanent activity in its annual action plan under economic diplomacy.

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