|Meet Sri Lanka from SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines recently launched its first ever MICE brochure - Meet Sri Lanka
MICE is an acronym for meetings, incentive, exhibitions and conferences, a niche market that SriLankan Airlines and relevant government agencies and the local travel trade are seeking to promote.
SriLankan Airlines together with the SriLankan Conventions Bureau (SLCB) and the local professional conference organizers (PCOs) actively promotes MICE tourism in Sri Lanka encouraging foreigners to hold their meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentive tours in the island.
"Our aim is to sell Sri Lanka as the ideal MICE destination which has modern faculties for holding these events as well as offering MICE tourists the opportunity of enjoying an extended holiday in the island, says SriLankans Head of Commercial G. T. Jeyaseelan. "The Meet Sri Lanka brochure which will be distributed at MICE trade fairs........ will help us immensely in promoting Sri Lanka as a MICE destination."
Meet Sri Lanka is an A4 sized, half-inch thick colour brochure which describes in detail Sri Lankss many attractions. It promotes beaches, culture, ayurveda conference and exhibition centres, adventure and sport opportunity, facilities offered by SriLankan Airlines and five star hotels. The brochure also details the facilities that SriLankan Airlines offers MICE travellers.
MICE tourism accounts for 12 per cent of the total inbound tourism market to Sri Lanka for last year. SriLankan Airlines, together with the SLCB and PCOs intends to increase this figure to 15 per cent of the total tourism market.
SriLankan Airlines has therefore geared itself to provide the requirements of an official airline for MICE events.
The airline has a special MICE unit dedicated to promoting this high yield market segment to travel to Sri Lanka and its other key MICE destinations in South East Asia to which it operates.
The unit primarily focuses on promoting Sri Lanka as a destination for MICE events and to position SriLankan Airlines as the official airline for such events. In addition, the unit promotes MICE travel to its on-line points in key Asian MICE venues such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore and Jakarta.
SriLankan has compiled a comprehensive MICE travel programme with offers products and services that help, plan and manage air travel for MICE groups of all sizes, also for individuals attending meetings or conventions. Among the facilities offered to MICE travellers are special air fares to delegates, rebated tickets to key note speakers and conference organisers for promotional purposes, promotion of conferences through its worldwide offices, meeting and assisting delegates at the airports during arrival and separate group check in during departures, special in-flight services and announcements and reconfirmation facilities at the conference venues.
Together with the SLCB and PCOS, SriLankan Airlines has successfully conducted destination promotions and product seminars in European, destinations such as London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, this year. In addition the airline participates in key MICE trade fairs such as EIBTM and IT & CMA.
Given the recent peace initiatives in Sri Lanka these has been an influx of activity for the year, for MICE events in Sri Lanka. SriLankan was nominated as the official airline for over 95 per cent of the major conventions, exhibitions and special events held this year.
In addition SriLankan Airlines carried a large number of groups travelling for meetings, seminars and incentives. Their primary markets for conferences are from South Asia and Europe is their key incentive market.
The major conventions handled by the airline this year was the 32nd International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Association (IFAWPCA) held in August and Diabetes in Asia 2002 in July.
Soft drink giants Pepsico India Holdings Private Limited and Coke group in India were flown courtesy SriLankan Airlines for their regional conference early this year.
The ties with the Indian market will be further strengthened when the airline will carry over 400 cargo agents from India for the 30th ACAAI annual convention to be held in Colombo.
SriLankan was also involved in sports events such as 14th Asian Athletic Championship held in Colombo on August 2002 and special events such as Miss Tourism International Beauty pageant held in September 2002. In addition the airline has created its own or co-sponsored corporate events such as the Singer SriLankan Rugby Sevens competition and the SriLankan Golf Festival which is held in October every year.
SriLankan Airlines has just been awarded TTG Asias Best Airline for South Asia for 2002. This follows a string of awards by popular travel magazines in Europe - Selling Long Haul, Relse & Preise and Wanderlust. The UKs Skytrax Research Agency voted SriLankan Best Airline in Central Asia in 2001 and 2002.
SriLankan has won these awards after its re-branding in 1999 which saw a superior inflight product installed in its Airbus A330s and A340s. SriLankan is also now an all-Airbus carrier. Its A330s and A340s offer in-seat TVs and telephones in all seats. Business class additionally offers personal video players and a choice of 34 videos. All seats also have 22 channel audio entertainment in a range of languages. Faxing and laptop re-charging facilities are available on the A330s and A340s.
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