The 67th TAAI Convention recently concluded in Colombo, Sri Lanka. President of the host country Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the Opening ceremony of the Convention.
The inaugural function of the Conference commenced at the BMICH in Colombo. It centred around the connection shared by India and Sri Lanka, showcasing Sri Lankan culture through performance by the renowned Channa Upuli Dance Troupe.
The Chief Guest of the evening, President Ranil Wickremasinghe, in his speech emphasised the bond between the two nations highlighting the sights found in Sri Lanka. Jyoti Mayal, the President of TAAI, and Gopal Baglay, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, addressed the gathering, emphasising the significance of India-Sri Lanka relations in the context of tourism.
The presence of Minister of Tourism & Lands Harin Fernando and the Chief Guest Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena,the second day, highlighted the importance of India market for Sri Lanka. Besides cultural affinity, both countries share crucial tourism ties too.
Sharing her thoughts, President TAAI Jyoti Mayal said, 'I personally believe that Sri Lanka as a destination has much to offer and as a neighbouring country we must do everything in our power to help the country come out of the economic crisis. I am confident that this Convention will prove to be a milestone in the India – Sri Lanka relations and also the country’s tourism graph.'
Inviting travellers to Sri Lanka Harin Fernando, Tourism Minister said, “We have a target of 4 million tourists and we are confident of achieving it because India is out No.1 source market. We are not just a beach destination but also a beautiful island that is brimming with touristic offerings – we are a 365 days destination. Sri Lanka is called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean for its beauty and multitude attractions.”
An MoU was signed between Nexus DMC CEO Vinay Gupta and TAAI President for its new landmark website – NEXTAAI. 'The total size of the Global Tourism sector is 8 trillion and with NexTAAI we have combined the strength of people + innovation + experience + relations,' said Vinay.
The convention was attended by envoys of countries including Ho Thi Thanh Truc. Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Sri Lanka; Paul Stephens, High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka; Katsuki Kotaro – Charge D'Affaires, Embassy of Japan, Sri Lanka; Fakhri Alivev – Charge D'Affaires, Embassy of Azerbaijan, New Delhi and Maged Mosleh – Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sri Lanka.
Hospitality partners Cinnamon Grand, Shangrila Colombo and Jetwing Negombo played host to the 500 plus delegates. Set overlooking the beautiful golden beaches of Negombo, the TAAI delegates were treated to the very best of English, Sinhala, Tamil & Hindi entertainment with the likes of Umara, Roy Jackson, Judy De Silvia, Jacqueline Hettiarachchi, Danu Innasithamby, Ricky Bahar and many more.