SriLankan backs Gateway Travel Mart

SriLankan Airlines, a major partner in the Gateway to South Asia Travel
Mart 2006, has again provided its fullest support towards the growth of
tourism into the region.“As one of the most active players in the airline industry in the South
Asian region, SriLankan Airlines is fully committed to supporting an
important initiative such as the Gateway to South Asia Travel Mart,”
said Manoj Gunawardena, Head of Worldwide Passenger Sales at SriLankan
Airlines. “This event is now widely recognised as one of the most
important showcases for travel and tourism in this region.”

SriLankan is the largest foreign carrier into India, with nearly 100
flights a week to nine destinations, and also serves the Maldives and
Pakistan. The airline now flies to 49 destinations in 28 countries
throughout Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, South East Asia and the
Far East. The famed Indian coastal resort town of Goa is to become its
50th global destination and the 10th in India, with the launch of
services in October 2006.


The travel mart, held at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Convention Centre
from 16th to 18th June, featured a large number of local and
international exhibitors such as inbound and outbound tour operators,
MICE operators (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions),
hotels, restaurants, airlines, government and semi-government
institutions, corporate entities, safari parks, and ayurvedha



A significant number of buyers from Europe, the Far East, the ASEAN
region, South Asia, and the Middle East attended Gateway to South Asia,
which was held for the fourth successive year.


SriLankan Holidays, the package tour arm of the airline, had a large
number of special packages at the travel mart; and the airline’s
domestic service SriLankan Air Taxi provided concessionary rates for
travel to its 14 destinations throughout Sri Lanka.


“These packages, which are one-time offers made available exclusively
for consumers who visited the Travel Mart, were guaranteed to be the
best value for money travel deals for the year,” said Amith Sumanapala,
General Manager SriLankan Holidays. “The packages had even lower fares
than our Mega 999 brand packages which are much in demand by consumers,
and featured the same all-inclusive concept. The Mega 999 series has
been very well received by all of our travel agents and tour operators


SriLankan provided free air travel for 60 foreign travel agents, tour
operators, and guest speakers for the Travel Mart, and also provided
special offers on air fares for other visitors.


“We saw new buyers from traditional markets and from new markets who had
a keen interest in Sri Lanka and the South Asian region,” said