Dubai-based carrier Emirates has signed an MoU with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau to help revive the South East Asian country’s trade and tourism industry.
Under the agreement, Emirates and Sri Lanka Tourism will benefit from joint activities to enhance trade and tourism, including trade shows, trade familiarisation trips, exhibitions, and workshops.
Since Sri Lanka re-opened to international tourists in February 2021, Emirates has carried more than 80,000 passengers to Colombo. The top inbound markets include UAE, Italy, UK and Germany.
Emirates currently operates 28 weekly flights to Colombo and is the only international carrier to serve the country with First Class services. Emirates has restarted operations to over 120 destinations within its global network.
“Sri Lanka remains a very key market in Emirates’ global network and the agreement signed today underscores our unwavering commitment to the country. We launched operations to Colombo more than 35 years ago, and our partnership continues to grow from strength to strength,” said Ahmed Khoory, SVP Commercial West Asia and Indian Ocean at Emirates.
Kimarli Fernando, chairperson Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, added: “This partnership is crucial for us to explore and capitalise opportunities that emerge and to open up many beautiful avenues to establish brand awareness and perceived quality in the global tourism market.”
Apart from Sri Lanka, Emirates has singed MoUs with several other global tourism boards earlier this year. Last month, it signed an Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, a country that Emirates has been flying to for around three decades.
Emirates also signed an MoU with Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) to boost inbound tourism into the kingdom. The airline already has four gateways into the kingdom: Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Madinah.
Meanwhile the Dubai airline also recently signed another MoU with Turespaña, Spanish Tourism Institute to boost trade and tourism to Spain. Emirates launched operations to Madrid in 2010, to Barcelona in 2012 and Dubai to Mexico City, via Barcelona in 2019. The airline currently offers customers 10 weekly flights to Barcelona, including 5 weekly flights from Dubai to Mexico City via Barcelona, and 9 weekly flights to Madrid utilising the iconic Emirates A380 aircraft.