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SriLankan Airlines Boosts Services to the Middle East

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Thursday, 26 June 2008

SriLankan Airlines is closely supporting initiatives by the Government of Sri Lanka to spark a boom in Middle Eastern tourism to the country, by adding more weekly flights to the region.

With this initiative, SriLankan will have 37 weekly connections to nine cities in the Middle East Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait. Additional flights are to three cities Doha which increases from the present 4 flights up to 6; Bahrain which goes from 5 to 7; and Dammam which will have 3 flights, up from the present 2.

The government identified the Middle East as one of four major thrust markets to Sri Lanka, and has launched a series of marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the islands attractions. There has been an 80% increase in Middle Eastern tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2008.

Mohamed Fazeel, Regional Manager Middle East, Africa and CIS, said, We are strengthening our Middle East network, as there has been a significant increase in demand for flights in the region, and we see a lot of potential for growth. Our focus is on leisure travellers, and airlines leisure arm SriLankan Holidays has unveiled several packages to cater especially to Middle Eastern tourists who want to visit Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is growing in popularity as a leisure destination among Middle Eastern travellers, and western expatriates working in the region who are drawn to the islands golden beaches, mist-swathed tea plantations, and ancient cultural sites. An increasing number, including women travellers, also try out the countrys many adventure sports.

Sri Lankas Ministry of Tourism has taken a keen interest in promoting the country in the Middle East. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Board has launched a series of advertising campaigns in major media in the Middle East to increase interest in Sri Lanka as a leisure destination. More campaigns are running in June and planned for July. 

The airlines new packages include Kids Go Free which encouraged family vacations by offering free packages to children under 12 when their parents bought packages; and Island Breaks which promoted short stopover holidays in Sri Lanka among travellers transiting Colombo to other leisure destinations.

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