Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and MasterCard sign agreement on cross-border tourism

MasterCard cardholders traveling to Sri Lanka will soon have even more reasons to enjoy their stay.

MasterCard Worldwide and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) have signed an agreement to facilitate the development of cross border tourism, with a specific focus on attracting India’s tourists.

The five-year agreement aims to promote Sri Lanka as a premier tourist destination for Indian travelers and deliver great travel experiences for MasterCard and Maestro cardholders through special offers and benefits.

The agreement comes on the heels of recent positive growth for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry as well as the country’s ambitious strategy to reach 2.5 million visitors by 2016. International tourism arrivals in Sri Lanka hit a record of 856,000 in 2011 with a growth rate of 30.79% over 2010 which itself was a phenomenal increase in growth rate of 46.12% over 2009.

Mr. Rumy Jauffer, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau was instrumental in conceptualizing the association and was the driving force in bringing together the various stakeholders to form this association. As per a report published by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in 2011, India is the largest source of tourists into Sri Lanka contributing to 20.84% of the total tourists visiting the country.

Mr. T. V. Seshadri, Division President, South Asia, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “This alliance underscores our optimism regarding the potential of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, as well as our commitment to developing and promoting cross border tourism between India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is rich in culture and heritage and an attractive destination for both leisure and business travelers. We’re excited to be able to deliver even greater travel experiences to MasterCard cardholders in this incredible country through our work with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.”

The agreement will see MasterCard and SLTPB jointly exploring and implementing activities targeted at the tourism market in Sri Lanka. This complements MasterCard’s ongoing objective to promote overseas tourism and adds to its list of ongoing initiatives such as Priceless Cities and the Great Singapore Sale.

MasterCard will actively popularize the program in India to high-potential travelers through various initiatives including digital and other media. The company will leverage its merchant and other partnerships in India, such as online travel agents, airlines and hotels in order to ensure communication of these benefits to the appropriate target audience. The program will also be promoted through MasterCard’s customer banks to their cardholders.

MasterCard intends to increase the number of partner merchants and offers in Sri Lanka to deliver even more value for MasterCard cardholders. Sri Lanka will be promoted as an attractive tourist destination in other key markets including Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Americas.