Based on a Bid submitted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau functioning under the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and amply supported by Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris and the representative Bodies of the Tourist Trade in Sri Lanka,the National Union of Travel Agents in France (Syndic at National de s Agences de Voyages(SNAV) that represent about 1300 travel related entrepreneurs in France has decided to hold their Annual Congress in Sri Lanka during November 2016.
SNAV presents a united and representative front that allows it to protect the interests of travel related enterprises in France covering 1,400 registered travel agents and 3,500 points of sales.SNAV congress is annually held and usually over 600 delegates attend the Congress and majority of them are outbound Travel Agents in France.
For a Long haul destination in Asia, SNAV Congress was held in Pataya, Thailand in 2002 followed by Beijing-China in 2005. It has not come to Asia for the last 10 years and Sri Lanka's attempted bid for this Congress in 2002 was not a success.
The above successful bid, submitted as a part of an overall strategy to promote Sri Lanka as a venue for holding of Meetings, Incentive Travel Conferences and Events is a significant milestone in promoting Sri Lanka as a preferred Asian destination for French tourists. During the year 2015, over 85,000 French tourists have visited Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka's successful holding of the proposed Congress undoubtedly will have a significant positive impact in promoting Sri Lanka Tourism in France.
Three member delegates from SNAV consisting of Mr. Richard Sonbielle, Vice President, Mr. Jean Marc Roze, Secretary General and Mr. Bernard Garcia, Director, SLECTOURFAT arrived in Sri Lanka on the January 04, 2016 and are engaged in pre-site inspection tours. They paid a courtesy call on Hon. John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs on July 07, 2015.