Apr 02, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has sought expertise from New Zealand in developing the country’s adventure tourism segment and improving high end hospitality training.
The request for expertise was made by Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga during his keynote address at the inauguration of the 4th New Zealand Trade Mission Meeting which commenced at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo today.
A group of 20 delegates representing 13 New Zealand companies arrived in Colombo this morning on a 3-day visit aimed at forging business and trade links with Sri Lanka.
Minister Amaratunga personally welcomed the delegation, the fourth to visit Sri Lanka in as many years, along with Sri Lanka’s Honorary Consul for New Zealand, Senaka Silva.
The delegation was led by New Zealand Trade Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Ralph Hays and included High Commissioner for New Zealand in India and Sri Lanka, Joanna Kempkers.
Tourism is New Zealand’s number 1 export earner with nearly 190,000 people directly employed by the industry.
Over the years New Zealand has developed expertise in food service and food production, environmental management, infrastructure design and development, as well as education and training – areas that have allowed New Zealand’s tourism sector to flourish.
Two-way trade between New Zealand and Sri Lanka has grown by 31 percent over the past three years and is now worth 367 million New Zealand dollars (41.3 billion LKR).
The majority of trade is commodity based but there are increasing opportunities in a variety of sectors including tourism, aviation, agriculture, electronics and education.
“Like Sri Lanka, we’re proud of our natural environment and want to see it preserved for everyone to enjoy,” New Zealand Trade Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Ralph Hays said.
“We feel there are many areas of opportunity such as sustainable tourism development for New Zealand and Sri Lanka to collaborate and to share expertise.”
High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers stated that outbound tourist traffic from New Zealand was on the increase especially to the Indian sub-continent region and that Sri Lanka should look at attracting a greater volume of this traffic.