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Sri Lanka MICE Expo brings together businesses from across the world

130 businesses from across the world attended this year’s Sri Lanka’s MICE Expo, to see the ‘vast potential’ of this extraordinary country, and what it offers in terms of tourism and hospitality.

Sri Lanka has been identified as an ideal hub for business tourism and a leading destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).

Picture: Priti Raichura

Representatives from a range of industries across the world travelled to the three day exhibition between May 27 and 31, to find out for themselves what the country has to offer.

One of those was Leicester’s Priti Raichura, a luxury wedding and events planner, who was representing the UK wedding industry. She praised the country for its stunning beaches, greenery and immaculate hotels – elements which make it an ideal wedding destination.

“The government officials that I spoke to are really wanting to put Sri Lanka back on the map as a country for people to visit, whether it’s for holiday, whether it’s for a wedding, or whether it’s for a tour. I’ve been to many, many countries and I absolutely loved it – from the food to the greenery to the waterfalls – everything was amazing,” she told Pukaar.

“Sri Lanka has been a country that lots of people have tried to avoid over the years because of its war-torn past, but I think it’s turned that around. It’s very green and very beautiful . It’s a country that has some amazing beaches and some beautiful hotels – absolutely immaculate.

“I’d take my kids there because it’s got beautiful clean beaches and the hotels are out of this world – they’re like seven star plus. Some of the 5 star hotels, they actually look like palaces and the luxury within them is exquisite,” she went on to reveal.

“If a couple were to get married out there, you’d get more for your money. You’d get that luxury that you can’t get here for the same amount you’d spend…”

Picture: Priti Raichura and Krishantha Fernando

Priti Raichura Events was one of five UK businesses which were invited to explore Sri Lanka as part of the MICE Expo, and to network with other businesses from across the world.

It was organised by the Sri Lanka Promotion Board, in an effort to help uplift the economy and highlight the country’s natural beauty, budget, affordability and accessibility.

 At the Expo, Krishantha Fernando, General manager for Sri Lanka Conversion Bureau spoke of Sri Lanka’s unrivalled hospitality as one of its major selling points.

“Sri Lanka is full of hospitality and it comes from our heart – from our younger days when we were growing up as kids, playing cricket and going into our friend’s houses,” he said.

“Our houses were open to anyone that came and we are all hospitable people – we’re open, always ready to help and always with a smile.”

Robin Lal, a tour operator who had travelled from Bangladesh for the Expo, was certainly impressed by the hospitality in Sri Lanka.

Picture: Robin Lal

“Sri Lanka is an upcoming destination for our tourists. It is close and convenient for us here in Bangladesh and they’re serving very well,” he said.

“The hospitality service over here is mind blowing and we’re looking forward to bringing more clients in the future.”

Nandeeka Leeniyagoda, one of the event’s organisors hailed it a “great success.”

She is looking at the possibility of bringing the event back to Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital next year.

“It was such a lovely feeling that all my hard work has paid off. The feedback that I’m getting from attendees is that they’re really happy and looking forward to bringing more business to Sri Lanka – a unique and amazing destination for all,” she said.

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