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Sri Lanka wants to level-up in tourism collaboration

BSS. Dhaka
30 May 2023 19:49:11 | Update: 30 May 2023 20:24:25
Sri Lanka wants to level-up in tourism collaboration
— BSS Photo

Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Bangladesh Prof Sudharshan Seneviratne has said his country is keen to team up with Bangladesh to flourish tourism in the two friendly countries by exploiting the untapped potential, especially marine archaeology in the Bay of Bengal.

"We already have some cooperation at work with the Bangladesh tourism sector... we would like to take it to the next level," he said.

The envoy was speaking at a business-to-business (B2B) network session between visiting tour operators of Sri Lanka and local travel agents organized by the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) at its office in the capital on Monday evening.

The high commissioner said Sri Lanka has expertise in marine archaeology and it is keen to help Bangladesh to explore this untapped sector for its scientists as well as the adventure tourism sector.

Seneviratne said Bangladesh's inland riverine tourism can be a good product to attract Sri Lankan tourists to visit here.

ATAB secretary general Abdus Salam Aref presided over the B2B session while the ATAB and Sri Lanka Tourism Board made country presentations on behalf of their respective sides.

ATAB vice president Afsia Jannat Saleh, Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner in Dhaka Ruwanthi Delpitiya, Sri Lankan tourism board Pubic Relation Director Madubhani Perera and Sri Lankan Airlines country manager Sharuka Wickrama Adittiya also spoke on the occasion.

Perera said that the Sri Lankan tourism board would like to receive 20,000 to 25,000 Bangladeshi tourists in Sri Lanka this year while the South Asian island nation was so far able to attract as high as 15,000 tourists from Bangladesh in 2017.

She said that Sri Lanka has a religious tourism circuit with India and Nepal and currently they would like to add Bangladesh to such a circuit so that Sri Lankan pilgrim tourists can visit Bangladesh along with the other two neighbouring countries.

The Sri Lankan tourism board director said her country's tourist destinations could offer a lot to Bangladeshi tourists as the islands have beaches, world heritage sites, rich tradition and culture, safari as well as adventure tourism espoused with the Sri Lankan airline operating daily flights from Dhaka to Colombo.

Sri Lankan Airlines country manager Sharuka Wickrama Adittiya said his airline is not only promoting Sri Lankan tourism, but it is also trying to attract Sri Lankan travellers to visit Bangladesh by offering lucrative holiday packages.