TAAI announces Convention in Colombo from July 6 – 9, 2023

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The theme of the convention Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives and will focus on promoting regional tourism besides positioning Sri Lanka as a preferred destination among Indian outbound travellers.The inaugural ceremony of the convention will take place at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) while business sessions will be held in two hotels – Cinnamon Grand Colombo and Shangri-La Colombo. 

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) on the invitation from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board (SLTPB) will be holding its 67th Convention and Exhibition in Colombo, from July 6 – 9, 2023 in Association with the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO).

TAAI, which was supposed to host its Convention in Sri Lanka last year, is sticking to its commitment and taking a good-size delegation to the Island Country, which is recovering well from the economic crisis experienced last year. The Convention will have post tours, offering people a good chance to experience all Sri Lanka has.

Mrs. Jyoti Mayal, President of TAAI, says, “We have been waiting for almost a year to host our Convention in Sri Lanka and we are really glad that this is finally happening. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, and we are positive that our members will create good synergy with the local tour operators in Sri Lanka and collectively we will be able to increase the tourist traffic between the two countries that are already bound by the Spiritual thread. SLTPB wants India Tourism Industry to be part of its growth story and witness the revival of the island country. Sri Lanka has already welcomed around 75,000 Indian visitors this year (up till April 30) making India its biggest source market.

They are excited to roll out the red carpet for around 500 Indian delegates, including the media, who would be attending the Convention. With the focus to formulate a Vision Plan for the future of TAAI, the Convention will witness meaningful discussions and debates that will help our members become stronger in their business area.” She added,  “Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has been resilient in spite of the economic challenges. India has now once again become the number one international source market for Sri Lanka and we hope that the island nation will receive more Indian tourists post our convention,”.

Mr. Amish Desai, Managing Committee Member, TAAI disclosed the theme of the Convention as – Transcending Borders – Transforming Lives.

Mr. Jay Bhatia, Vice President, TAAI shared the schedule of the Convention. “As per the tentative schedule, delegates will arrive in Colombo on July 6 and there will be a media briefing between 3 – 5 pm for the local as well as Indian media. The opening ceremony will take place at 7 pm at BMICH. On July 7 and 8, there will be Business Sessions and Knowledge Discussions from 10 am – 1 pm. From 2 – 5 pm, there will be B2B Meetings for around 200 delegates while the balance of delegates will go on city tours and sightseeing on both days. A theme Dinner is planned for July 7 at Temple Trees, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and on July 8, a Gala evening is planned at the Heritance Negombo Hotel, which is a beautiful property, where delegates will be able to enjoy a fun evening on the beach. On July 9 the delegates can opt for day excursions from Colombo to Bentota / Kandy / Galle. They can also go for an overnight tour of the said places. 50 delegates per excursion/ post tours shall be accommodated on first-cum-fist basis. More details on Speakers and Sessions will be shared as and when will be decided,” he outlined.

Mr. Lokesh Bettaiah, Hon. Secretary General, TAAI sharing details of the Convention registration said that it is mandatory for all delegates to register online for this Convention. “We have made the process extremely user-friendly with all details regarding hotels and airlines clearly listed on the website along with all payment gateways. The Online Registrations will start from May 28 (Sunday) and we encourage you all to register in good numbers,” he said.  TAAI is offering special round-trip fares for its attendees, with prices ranging from INR.16,000 rupees – to INR.30,000 rupees.

Mr Paras Lakhia, Managing Committee Member, TAAI will be handling the airline’s bookings and shared that they have negotiated the pricing with four partner airlines – Sri Lankan Airlines, Air India, IndiGo, and Air Vistara.

“There is no Convention Hotel as such this time. The Inauguration is at BMICH, Day 2 Sessions are at Cinnamon Grand and Day 3 Sessions are at Shangri – La Hotel, followed by the B2B sessions in the respective hotels. Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry along with TAAI has made a request to the Hon. President of Sri Lanka for a Free Visa for all Convention delegates. & further going for all Indian Tourists. We are awaiting confirmation on the same,” said Mrs Mayal. She said she has seen a heart-warming dedication and commitment by the young and dynamic Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Harin Fernando and the very committed & hospitable team of SLAITO to host TAAI for a successful convention. “Meanwhile, there are some surprise elements for the delegates also during the event,”  she concluded.