Israeli Tourism Minister to visit Sri Lanka

The Tourism Minister of Israel is to visit Sri Lanka later this year. Minister of Tourism Development John Amaratunga extended an official invitation to the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin when the two Ministers met at the 23rd edition of the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Tel Aviv, Israel recently.

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“I’m very pleased that that the Israeli Tourism Minister has accepted my invitation to visit Sri Lanka later this year. I received this confirmation a few days ago. This visit will help consolidate the rapid progress Sri Lanka Tourism has made in the Israeli outbound market in the recent past,” said Minister Amaratunga.

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The two Tourism Ministers met on the sidelines of the IMTM 2017 where bilateral discussions were held on the development of tourism between the two countries. During the extensive discussions one of the key impediments for growth was identified as the limited connectivity between the two countries. The Ministers decided to explore options including the introduction of charter flights to overcome the bottlenecks.

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“Tourist arrivals from Israel have been on a steep ascent in the last two years. I believe this is a direct result of the personal interaction I have had with the Israeli Minister of Tourism who has been very supportive of our efforts. I’m happy to see the positive outcome of these efforts,” noted Minister Amaratunga.

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In a scenario where arrivals from the Middle East region grew by just 6.5 percent in 2016, arrivals from Israel indicated an extraordinary growth rate of 33.4 percent for the year. This impressive growth momentum has been carried forward into 2017 as well with arrivals from Israel for the period January to April indicating a positive growth rate of 27 percent when overall growth from the Middle Region was a negative 5.6 percent compared to the previous year.

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