Media & News
Aitken Spence Travels records landmark 178,000 Happy visitors to destination Sri Lanka
Aitken Spence Travels, the largest inbound tour operator in the country closed the 2017/18 financial year with a total inbound volume exceeding 178,000 happy visitors to Destination Sri Lanka. This year’s performance builds on the previous year’s record high of 153,000 tourists by far the largest number of visitor arrivals handled by any Destination Management Company in the country. The Aitken Spence Travels’ growth was recorded at 16% while during the same period the country arrivals grew by 7%.
Commenting on the feat the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels Mr. Nalin Jayasundera stated, “This achievement was possible due to our continues efforts in diversifying to new markets and growing the existing markets by securing new business. I am happy to note our increased visitor numbers resulted in the Company recording the highest ever profit thus far. This was due to the excellent team work of the staff who ensured that our clients are served with dedication and professionalism coupled with years of experience in the tourism industry”.
“The contribution of our Tour Operator partners has been significant to the Company’s achievements. We place our sincere appreciation for the support extended by Hotel partners, airline’s and other suppliers for playing a significant role. The 41 year journey of Aitken Spence Travels is built on the ethos of trust and partnerships. We are privileged to have the best practices of TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism company and the strength and backing of Aitken Spence group”, he added.
Aitken Spence Travels is active in many diverse segments of tourism. The Company’s Cruise shore excursions business commands market leadership in the country. The cruise business is a growing segment and Sri Lanka has potential to offer a multi-port offering to differentiate in order to secure future business.
The charter flight operations have been growing and the Company has continued to handle charters from U.K., Sweden, Finland and Russia. In 2017/18 together with TUI, Aitken Spence Travels handled a charter from Poland for the first time which operated flights every 10 days. Due to the successful charter operation TUI will be operating a second charter for winter 2018/19 from Poland.
The Company has also made inroads on sports tours handled and have brought many teams from different sporting disciplines. Cricket by far is the most popular but netball, rugby and hockey tours have grown, and the Company has made inroads with golf tourism.
As the only award-winning conference organiser, AST events unit managers international and local business and consumer events. The event portfolio covers medical, IT, education and consumer trade fairs. Flagship local events such as Colombo Shopping Festival, Home and You, the Best Brand Show has attracted over 175,000 local visitors per annum. The unit also specialises in handling events in Maldives.
In addition to giving back to the community in numerous ways, Aitken Spence Travels is among the few companies in Sri Lanka that offsets its carbon footprint across its operations. Visitors continue to place their trust and confidence in the Company as they too become part of the organisations greater responsibility towards minimising carbon footprint when partaking on tours and excursions designed to have minimum impact to the environment and nature. The Travel Life Certification was secured for the operations keeping in line with global sustainable tourism practices.
Since 2015 the Company has been handling over one hundred thousand inbound clients and have not looked back since then. The formula for continuous success has been the commitment of the management and dedication of the staff to achieve a common corporate objective. The Company carries out its own promotions in partnership with tour operators to create a better demand for the destination.
It is envisaged that the tourism industry and its stakeholders will stand to gain from the proposed digital promotion campaign. It is also important to have a sustained and an effective marketing campaign for the benefit of the tourism sector stakeholders and the overall economy of the country.
Looking further Aitken Spence Travels hopes to continue to strengthen and build its international market position. The Company will continue to shape the tourism industry, by pioneering in terms of innovation in products and exploring markets be it Sports, MICE, Cruises, Nature, Luxury, Online and Charter operations.