Sri Lanka and Bangladesh collaborate to boost tourism: promoting cultural connections and marine archaeology

Aitken Spence Travels represented Sri Lanka at the special tourism promotion briefing organized by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Dhaka for travel agents and media personnel in Bangladesh on 29 May, in collaboration with the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).

During the briefing, High Commissioner Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne highlighted the historical linkages and cultural similarities between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, emphasizing their potential as tools to boost the tourism industry in both countries. He suggested that the two nations could collaborate to promote two-way tourism, particularly in the field of marine archaeology, through exchanges between relevant institutions. The religious connection, particularly in Buddhism, also presented an opportunity for people-to-people interaction and pilgrimage travel to explore each other’s countries. Additionally, Bangladesh was recognized as an important market for promoting high-end tourism, including Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE), as well as cruise tourism in Sri Lanka.

The Secretary General of ATAB, Abdus Salam Aref, expressed the association’s commitment to further cooperation in promoting Sri Lanka among Bangladeshi tourists. Both countries were encouraged to work together to enhance and mutually benefit from tourism promotion efforts.

Madubhani Perera, the Director of Public Relations at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), delivered a comprehensive presentation on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, showcasing the country’s numerous attractions for travelers from Bangladesh. While the number of visitors from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka had declined in recent years, Sri Lanka aimed to increase this figure to approximately 25,000 visitors by the end of the current year.

As part of their visit, Sri Lankan travel agents, who were currently on a special familiarization tour organized by the Bangladesh Tourism Board, engaged in business-to-business exchanges with local travel agents after the briefing.