This is part of their ongoing strategic efforts to jointly promote Sri Lanka as a preferred destination in key markets.
Travellers with Mastercard debit and credit cards issued in India will be able to enjoy exciting offers including discounts on holiday packages and air tickets to Sri Lanka booked through partnering travel websites as well as savings of up to 25% at select partner hotels, restaurants and retail stores. Jetwing Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, AMAN Hotels, Loon Tao Restaurant and Mlesna Tea are some of the hotels that have been partnered with for this campaign.
Supported by a pan-India marketing drive by Mastercard, this collaboration has been set to drum up greater interest in Sri Lanka amongst Indian travellers.
Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga described the move by Mastercard as a welcome development. “I congratulate Mastercard for pioneering this initiative with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau to promote Sri Lanka as the preferred destination for discerning Indian travellers. Be it for leisure, shopping or business, the incentives on offer coupled with the cashless convenience factor would definitely help card users discover more of Sri Lanka. With tourist arrival numbers from India on the rise, this promotion will help consolidate and sustain this growth into the future. Therefore, the Mastercard promotion is a welcome development that will further establish Sri Lanka as India’s favourite travel destination,” he said.
Commenting on this partnership, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said: “We believe that this new partnership with Mastercard will encourage 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 travellers. Easy connectivity with short-haul flights from India and a favourable currency exchange rate will serve as the perfect package for travellers.”
Mastercard Senior Vice President, Account Management, Vikas Varma said: “Mastercard is delighted to partner with Sri Lanka Tourism Board to boost cashless tourism and further enhance the Sri Lanka experience. Tourism is a major contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy and given India’s close proximity to Sri Lanka, Mastercard’s market intelligence on the Indian travellers’ spending patterns and strong partnerships with various stakeholders, Sri Lanka can fully harness the potential of cashless payments.”
Mastercard Sri Lanka and Maldives Country Manager R.B. Santosh Kumar said: “Mastercard has been working closely with all stakeholders across the public and private sectors in Sri Lanka for more than three decades. Their local insights together with our suite of world-class electronic payment solutions and global expertise has helped Mastercard deliver greater value to Sri Lankan businesses and consumers. The current campaign that Mastercard is running in partnership with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, one of its longstanding partners, is yet another way Mastercard continues leveraging the transformative power of digital payments to do so.”
This announcement comes on the heels of the recent positive growth of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. As per a report published by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, international tourism arrivals in Sri Lanka hit a record of 2.1 million in 2017 with a growth rate of 3.20% over 2016. India is the largest source of tourism for Sri Lanka, contributing 18% of the total tourists visiting the country. This year, Sri Lanka is expecting 440,000 arrivals from India, according to an estimate by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.