The Sri Lankan Tourism Board is geared towards a much wider effort to promote the South Asian country as a tourism destination, particularly in Qatar and the region, ambassador Mohamed Mafaz Mohideen has said.
“The worst is behind us, the fuel/gas situation has been resolved, and hotels have opened up. We are ready to welcome tourists and showcase our beautiful country,” the envoy told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the recently held Explore Sri Lanka at Education City.
To further attract more visitors from Qatar, he said Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism visited Doha recently, engaging with Qatar Airways to look for possibilities of collaboration between the two countries.

Besides bilateral trade and investments, he underlined the importance of tourism as an equally important income-generating sector for Sri Lanka, which witnessed an increasing number of visitors in a post Covid-19 pandemic period during the early part of this year.
“It was peaking, then we had a few dull months. Right now is our low season (but) despite that we had 40,000 foreigners visiting us last month… We are hoping that by November and December these numbers will pick up and we’ll be able to showcase what Sri Lanka has to offer,” Mohideen said.
Emerging from a domestic crisis, he said Sri Lanka is bouncing back as one of the most popular leisure and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) destinations.
The envoy highlighted the importance of co-operation between Qatar and Sri Lanka in the cultural field saying it plays a key role in deepening friendly relations.
He noted that the recently held cultural event, which forms part of the Qatar – MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia) Year of Culture 2022 also provides an opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase its rich culture and heritage in the country.
“Culture goes hand in hand and once you start appreciating others’ culture, that relationship grows deeper,” Mohideen said, adding that cultural exchanges between the two countries will continue.
The embassy, he said, is planning to hold a number of cultural events “to showcase our culture and heritage in all facets, it’s a multi-dimensional thing… so that people in Qatar can experience and begin to appreciate what we have to offer better.”
With the Year of Culture and the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, Mohideen said Sri Lanka has been given the opportunity to bring traditional performers and take part in a wider celebration “which I’m sure will be an enriching experience for the people and visitors (especially those who will be coming for the first time) in Qatar.”
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