Sri Lanka MICE hub due to strategic location
Sri Lanka has been recognised as a hub for MICE (Meeting Incentives
Conferences and Exhibition) tourism due to its strategic location and
port development, Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt)
Ltd.(LECS), Director Imran Hassan said.
He said that Sri Lanka's close proximity to India and port
development are huge incentives to promote MICE tourism which is a major
contributor to the tourism industry. MICE tourism contributes around
15-20 percent of the total tourist arrivals.”We should not only position
Sri Lanka as a destination for MICE tourism but also a destination for
trade. Tourism industry stakeholders market Sri Lanka's potential for
MICE tourism,” Hassan said.
The growth in MICE tourism has not been on par with leisure sector
tourism which has developed rapidly. Sri Lanka recoded one million
tourist arrivals last year and envisages around 1.2 million visitors
Lack of infrastructure such as conference and exhibition halls with
capacities to accommodate a large number of people are impediments to
boost MICE tourism. The industry needs such conference and exhibition
halls not only in Colombo but also in other parts of the country.
“Sri Lanka competes with Singapore, Thailand and Dubai which have
conference halls that could accommodate over 15,000 people.
The MICE tourism industry stakeholders have lobbied for construction
of a mega conference hall which could accommodate a large number of
people.The BMICH could only accommodate around 1,400 people while the
convention centre which is used for exhibitions and conventions could
only accommodate around 200 stalls,” Hassan said.
He said that Sri Lanka has to compete with Thailand, Malaysia,
Singapore and Dubai as a destination for MICE tourism and added that
high hotel room rates is a major disadvantage for the industry. The
current hotel room rate in around $ 182 a day whereas in Thailand it is
around $ 80.
LECS, a private sector organisation is a professional conference and
exhibition organiser set up in 2003. The company will mark its 10th
anniversary this year.
Hassan said that LECS plans to host a reception for all its partners,
clients, sponsors and the media to mark the occasion.
The Jaffna Trade Fair, Adyapana, Pro Food Pro Pack, the Hotel Show,
the Boat Show and the Construction Expo are some of the flagship events
hosted by LECS.LECS will host the EdCil, Indian Education Fair from
March 2-3 at the BMICH and same event on March 5 and 6 at the Jaffna
Central College and on March 9 and 10 at the Kandy City Centre.
The Youth Vision, World Crocodile Conference-Sri Lanka, Construction
Expo 2013 and the Hotel Show 2013 are some of the events that that LECS
will be hosting this year. LECS is a member of South Asia Exhibition
Services Network (SAESN). SAESN is a multinational organisation which
promote the region as a venue for international trade fairs and events.
It operates in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Maldives.