The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Iran, with the assistance of the Association of Air Transport & Tourism Agencies of Iran and the Sri Lanka Tea Board, successfully organized Sri Lanka's participation in the 16th Tehran International Exhibition of Tourism and Related Industries held from 07-10 February 2023 at the Tehran International Fairground in Iran.
More than 30,000 visitors representing 45 countries participated in the event and about 200 domestic and foreign exhibitors including Tehran based diplomatic missions, travel agencies, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, insurance services, travel, hospitality & tourism faculties of several universities showcased their services.
The Sri Lankan Pavilion of the exhibition was declared open by Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Iran Ezzatollah Zarghami with the participation of senior Government officials, members of Iran Tourism Association, diplomats, Iran travel agents and tour operators. The Pavilion portrayed Sri Lanka's attractive tourism themes and a variety of unique products . All visitors to the Pavilion also had an opportunity to gather more information on tourism through promotional videos, "So Sri Lanka" brochures, leaflets from Sri Lankan travel companies and presentations made by the Sri Lanka Embassy staff.
At the press conference arranged by the organizers of the Tourism Exhibition, Ambassador G.M.V. Wishwanath Aponsu highlighted Sri Lanka's natural beauty, rich culture & arts, ayurveda medicine & herbal drinks, traditional Sri Lankan cuisine etc. While briefing on the recent developments of the tourism industry in the country, the Sri Lankan envoy requested all tourism stakeholders in Iran to promote tourism and encourage Iranian tourists to visit Sri Lanka expecially during the upcoming Nowruz holiday season-March 2023 (Persian New Year).
Ambassador Wishwanath Aponsu had meetings with heads of travel & tourism faculties of universities based in Tehran, senior officials of the Iran Tourism Ministry, Chairman of the Association of Air Transport & Tourism Agencies and country managers of airlines and key travel agents in Iran. After the Ambassador's comprehensive briefing that highlighted a 75% growth of Iranian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in 2022 compared to the year 2019, all tourism stakeholders assured their fullest support to uplift the two-way tourism between Iran and Sri Lanka for mutual benefit.
The Ceylon tea counter arranged by the Embassy with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Tea Board was very popular among the visitors. The counter displayed seven assortments of tea from the main seven tea growing regions of NuwaraEliya, UdaPussellawa, Dimbula, Uva, Kandy, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna and freshly brewed "Ceylon tea" with other refreshments was offered to high-level dignitaries and visitors during the opening day of the Exhibition. Promotional tea samples and Ceylon tea brochures were also distributed among the visitors.
The Tehran International Exhibition of Tourism and Related Industries is the largest professional tourism exhibition hosted by the Islamic Republic of Iran under the auspices of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. It is regarded as a meeting place for tourism professionals and service providers from the tourism industry to promote incoming, domestic and outgoing tourism.
Embassy of Sri Lanka