On October 4, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Brussels held a tourism promotion seminar in Namur, Belgium. Namur Governor Dennis Mason opened the seminar and expressed his support for promoting Sri Lanka as a holiday destination for the people of the province. This is the first time that Sri Lanka tourism promotion activities are held in the French-speaking Walloon region.
The event was attended by around 50 travel agencies and agencies, travel journalists, travel media and TV professionals, travel bloggers, social media influencers, airline representatives and decision makers from the Belgian tourism industry. Local television channel Walloon TV carried media coverage of the event, further expanding the reach of the Sri Lankan tourism industry.
Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Belgium, Grace Asirwasam, said in her welcome speech that Sri Lanka is recognized as one of the best travel destinations in the world and is an extremely safe, secure and peaceful destination for tourists .
Ambassador Asir Washam further explained the country’s post-Covid-19 situation and informed that the country is fully open to tourists from all over the world. She also convinced travel agencies to include Sri Lanka in the list of countries as one of the top destinations for Belgian tourists.
Monique De Decker, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Antwerp, Mahen Kariyawasan, Managing Director of Andrew The Travel Company (Pvt) Ltd., and Ruwan De Alwis, Consultant of Classic Destinations, delivered presentations promoting Sri Lanka’s diverse tourist attractions, both mainstream and niche offerings. Public Market Administrator Michele le Grand-Decharneux shares her best experiences in Sri Lanka tourism and recommends Sri Lanka as the most attractive holiday destination for Belgian tourists. Representatives of Emirates and Qatar Airways attended the event to promote the economical and efficient connection options offered by their respective airlines to facilitate travel for tourists from Belgium to Sri Lanka. The seminar showcased Sri Lanka as a natural tourism destination with its diverse splendor and grandeur, golden beaches, incredible features and terrains, giving everyone a trip of a lifetime.
Since 2010, the number of Belgian tourists to Sri Lanka has increased significantly. In 2010, the number of Belgian tourists to Sri Lanka increased from 5,371 to 17,519 in 2018. In the post-COVID-19 scenario, the number of Belgian tourists to Sri Lanka is increasing gradually, reaching 4,783 in August 2022. With the Belgian government easing travel advice for Sri Lanka in September 2022, the tourism industry is eager to promote the country as one of the top holiday destinations for Belgian tourists. Since 2021, the embassy has held similar tourism promotion activities in Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and other major cities, and decided to continue it as a permanent activity of the annual economic diplomacy action plan.