Leading luxury Tour Operator Kuoni has pledged to drive bookings to Sri Lanka by holding its first overseas sales managers’ conference since pre-pandemic 2019 in the country.
Sri Lanka has long been one of the operator’s best-performing destinations, but sales slowed last year alongside the Indian Ocean island’s economic crisis.
However, Kuoni is now investing in building destination knowledge as it targets growth amid a strong rebound for 2023 and 2024 as confidence in travel to the country returns.
A group of 39 sales managers from across the business, including Kuoni’s own stores, virtual call center, and product, training, and commercial teams are participating in the event.
Representatives from partner stores including The Travel Bureau, Baldwins Travel, Peter Goord Travel, Baileys Travel, and Feherty Travel are also attending.
Delegates are being split into four itineraries to visit different parts of the country.
The four groups will come together at Cinnamon Bentota Beach on the west coast for an interactive full day of the conference. The event has been planned in partnership with SriLankan Airlines and Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts.
Kuoni sales director Helen Roberts said: “We have teams climbing Sigirya Rock, exploring Polonnaruwa by bicycle, taking the scenic train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya and on the hunt to spot leopards in Yala National Park on safari.
“Teams will be visiting many of the hotels within the Kuoni range. This is a huge opportunity for us to create first-hand experience of the destination and bring that knowledge back to the sales teams.
“In addition to this we are taking some time to see how Sri Lanka is focussing on responsible travel and we will have built in sustainable experiences such as visiting a mangrove conservation project as part of the DERTouristik Foundation.
“As well as seeing the destination firsthand, we’ve got a clear focus on business development.
“The management team has been asked to present their business development plans for the next two years to the leadership team on conference day.”
Product and commercial director Marco Rocha added: “Sri Lanka is such an important destination for Kuoni and I’m looking forward to connecting with some of our key partners with a view to working together to build business again.
“A conference on this scale reflects our ambition and sets out to build knowledge back into the team and get everyone inspired to drive our strategy forwards.”
(source: Travel Weekly)