SriLankan Airlines, the National Airline of Sri Lanka, is an award-winning carrier with a firm reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety, reliability, and punctuality. Launched in 1979, SriLankan is currently expanding and further diversifying its wide range of products and services in order to drive the country’s ongoing boom in tourism and economic development.
The airline’s hub is located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, providing convenient connections to its global route network of 99 destinations in 47 countries (including codeshare operations) in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America, Australia and Africa.
PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome SriLankan Airlines to the PATA family, as our newest aviation member. As a PATA member, we look forward to working with them to help build their business and brand through our extensive networks and our in-depth research and insights into the Asia Pacific region. We will also have the extra benefit of close cooperation, when we hold our PATA Annual Summit 2017 in Negombo, Sri Lanka.”
According to PATA, international visitor arrivals (IVAs) to Sri Lanka are forecast to reach above the 2 million mark by 2019, with tourism expenditures expected to reach US$8 billion.
SriLankan Airlines’ Chairman Mr. Ajith Dias said, “Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the most exciting tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Conferences and Exhibitions) destinations in Asia. Sri Lanka’s MICE industry experienced a leap forward in the last few years recording over 144,000 MICE visitors to the country in the year 2014 of which majority has emerged from the Incentive Travel segment. The total tourist arrivals into the country exceeded 1.5 million in 2014 from mere 500,000 in 2009. At a time when we look at attracting tourists from new markets, our membership in PATA and our role in the PATA Annual Summit 2017 will provide an ideal opportunity to share insights and look for collaborative ventures to promote MICE tourism within the region.”