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Several local companies pull out of WTM London

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The 2020 edition of the WTM was not held due to the COVID Pandemic and the event was entirely held virtually. “2020 year was the first time since the event was launched in 2020 that there was no live event,’’ WTM London’s Senior Director Simon Press said.

In 2021 with C-19 settling down and people getting used to living with it and Sri Lanka being ungraded from the COVID Red list to Ampere over 50 travel companies were eagerly waiting to attend the live event.

“With Sri Lana being taken off the red list there was a surge of new participating companies,” an official from Sri Lanka Tourism said.

However, with England stamping touch quarantine laws and the Sri Lankan Embassy based in London unable to clarify the correct ‘ground situation’ with regard to the period of quarantine and other valuable and timely advice expected from a foreign mission, several industry stakeholders pulled out.

An Sri Lankan Embassy official had even told them that they can give any advice and guidance to travellers flying to Sri Lanka and not vice versa!

“Now only 20 Sri Lankans would be participating,” the SLTB official said. “Even the Marketing Head handling the London market from SLTB is unable to go due to these issues.” However Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairperson Kimarli Fernando who, who was in London for the past few days, would be attending the WTM. “Most of the local companies who booked stalls with the Sri Lankan Pavilion would be hiring representatives from London to engage in the promotion during the WTM.”

When contacted, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said that he is unable to confirm his presence as well.

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