Sri Lanka all set to host first-ever MICE Expo next week

Sri Lanka Tourism will host the first-ever MICE Expo next week to position the country as a year-round business destination.

The three-day event is scheduled to be held from 13 to 15 March at Shangri-La, Colombo and aims to draw around 150 participants from identified key markets from India, China, Russia, Australia, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It will see operators and stakeholders from across the world participating, positioning Sri Lanka as an ideal destination for MICE tourism. 

MICE Expo 2023 organised by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) in association with the national carrier — SriLankan Airlines, will take place from 13 to 15 March 2023 at Shangri-La, Colombo. 

The SLCB seeks to market the nation as a destination for business events to boost foreign currency inflow to the economy. The bureau is relying on the combined effect of pent-up demand, ease of travel restrictions, and regular flights boosting strong business attitude.

Holding a special media conference to update on the readiness to host the first-ever MICE Expo, SLBC Chairman Thisum Jayasuriya said MICE Expo 2023 would be a great opportunity to showcase Sri Lanka’s offerings, and also to set an excellent example of what partnerships and synergies can create. 

“We have received great enthusiasm from all the target markets and 60% of the confirmed participation is from India. SLCB is ready to position Sri Lanka as a MICE hub in South Asia,” he added. 

With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and modern infrastructure, Sri Lanka has become a sought-after destination for MICE tourism. The country offers a unique blend of business and pleasure, and a strategic position geographically, making it an ideal location for companies and organisations looking to host events, meetings and conferences in a professional, yet exotic and vibrant setting.

The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is the primary contact point for meeting planners, incentive houses, corporates and associations for information, advice and expertise when planning and organising events in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is looking to boost arrivals and earnings from meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions to over $ 300 million by the end of 2023.

“MICE travellers spend three times more than leisure and other tourist segments. Thus, the SLCB is excited to welcome MICE travellers from target markets to experience authentic and diverse products that Sri Lanka could offer,” Jayasuriya added.

Sri Lanka has emerged as a popular destination for MICE tourism, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity and modern infrastructure. MICE EXPO 2023 is expected to be an exciting event, with Cinnamon Life partnering as the host for the gala dinner, and Shangri-La serving as the hotel host. 

The MICE Business Forum, which will be hosted at the Galle face hotel, will provide an excellent opportunity for business networking, while MICE EXPO will showcase 22 exhibitors and 75 local vendors from Sri Lanka.

The event will commence with a welcome reception and MICE forum on 13 March, followed by the opening ceremony on 14 March, where B2B meetings between local MICE suppliers and buyers will take place. 

The event will be inaugurated by Tourism Minister Harin Fernando. Buyers will also have the opportunity to further explore the city and other locations around the country hosted by SLCB, to experience Sri Lanka’s MICE facilities first-hand and familiarise themselves with the island for potential future investments.

Noting that Sri Lanka’s geographic location has a greater advantage to develop the MICE tourism segment, he said the development of the sector is necessary for economic development as well as to reduce seasonality limitations by providing year-round tourism revenue.

“Our effort is united by the goal of building the brand Sri Lanka in the global marketplace,” Jayasuriya said.

Sri Lanka provides indoor and outdoor event facilities, hotel venues, resorts, state-of-the-art convention centres and bespoke offerings, staffed by qualified personnel who can deliver in line with professional requirements. 

World-class infrastructure from hotels to many in-progress developments, such as Cinnamon Life, ITC Hotels and Port City Colombo, will also open more doors to growth and investments in the future.

Sri Lanka’s unique blend of business and pleasure, combined with its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, puts Sri Lanka among the top destinations for MICE tourism worldwide.

Source: Sri Lanka all set to host first-ever MICE Expo next week | Daily FT