Sri Lanka won the "Best Booth Design Award" at the 29th Korean World Travel Fair (KOTFA), the largest travel exposition held at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in Seoul, South Korea from May 29 to June 1.
KOTFA is an integrated travel fair involving inbound and outbound travel, B2B and B2C meetings, tourism presentations, and special sale offers for travel products. All major tourist destinations including Thailand, India, China, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines were represented at the fair. As Korea's largest fair, KOTFA drew the participation of more than 60 countries and more than 120,000 visitors with travel-related interests.
Among these visitors, around 15,000 were from the tourism industry and over 100,000 were members of the general public seeking information about potential travel destinations.
Among the participants were representatives from the Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau and Sri Lankan travel companies These companies successfully conducted one-to-one business meetings with many Korean tour operators and met with travel industry professionals, buyers and specialists and travel consumers for business talks and negotiations.
The Sri Lanka Pavilion was ceremonially opened by Ambassador Tissa Wijeratne along with the Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, Chairman of the KOTFA and other dignitaries in the Korean tourism industry.
The Sri Lanka Pavilion was set up in a strategic location by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul. The Pavilion featured high quality visuals of popular destinations and portrayed the island's tourism themes, which earned high praise from visitors leading to a win for KOTFA's Best Booth Design Award.
Free cups of Ceylon tea were available to the pavilion visitors, along with fun games and opportunities to win gifts, with participation in a Sri Lanka tourism survey.
In 2013, Korean tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka markedly increased by 50% compared to 2012. With the establishment of direct air links between the two countries along with other tourism promotional initiatives and events such as KOTFA, a significant increase in Korean tourists to Sri Lanka for 2014 is expected.