Sri Lanka’s Expolanka gains management control of regional travel firm

May 11, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Expolanka Holdings Plc said Friday it had paid 915,000 dollars to buy a 50 percent stake and management control in Akquasun Holidays India Private Limited, a joint venture with Mumbai-based Akquasun Group. Akquasun Holidays India is a business-to-business agency that works with other travel agents, tour operators and event managers.

In 2011, Expolanka formed the joint venture with the Akquasun Group, to develop inbound markets of India, Russia and China where they own and operate their own offices. Expolanka’s Group Chief Executive Hanif Yusoof said the move comes as Sri Lanka is attracting foreign visitors from these three new vibrant markets.

This is seamlessly facilitated by Akquasan’s wide global network of its own offices in the Maldives, Mauritius, Hong Kong, China, Dubai, Tanzania, South Africa, UK, Russia and the USA, he said.

Sri Lanka has set it’s sights on attracting 2.5 million tourists by 2016, after experiencing a boom following the end of the near four decades-long ethnic conflict in May 2009.

Tourist arrivals hit a record 855,975 in 2011 and continue to grow after the government scrapped the visa-on-arrival system in January.

From January to March 2012, tou