Pied Piper

With a definite shift eastward of high spending MICE tourists, aggravated by 9/11, Sri Lanka is redoubling its efforts to offer more than sun, surf and sand.
National carrier SriLankan Airlines has joined an industry effort to boost MICE tourist arrivals by 15.00 percent from last years 12.68 percent of arrivals, by the end of this year.

rnrnMeetings, Incentive travel, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) tourism, attract mainly business traffic, delegates and visitors in the country for an event, as against leisure travellers.

rnrnThis segment attracts some of the big spenders in a high-income bracket, many who often spend as much as nine times more than an average holiday maker.

rnrnLast year, MICE tourism brought in approximately US$ 38.3 mn, up from the US$ 31.0 mn in 2000.

rnrnBut the foreign exchange aside, this niche, yet strategic segment could very likely hold up the islands image, introducing business leaders, investors and delegates to the country.

rnrnIndustry findings also indicate