Sri Lanka Tourism enters into association with MasterCard Worldwide

The tourism department in Sri Lanka has entered into an association with MasterCard Worldwide (NYSE: MA), a provider of credit card services.

The two entities have entered into an agreement to promote tourism in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) would use the facilities provided by the payments company to enhance its presence in the nation as well as globally. The agreement would have a specific focus on attracting India’s tourists. The five-year agreement would promote Sri Lanka as a premier tourist destination for Indian travellers. MasterCard and Maestro card holders would be able to avail special privileges and benefits through the association.

The government of Sri Lanka and its tourism department is making efforts to revive the tourism sector of the nation, which is just recovering from years of civil war that had destroyed the nation’s economy. Even though the war has ended, tourism has not picked up particularly well, and efforts are ongoing to revive the sector. The nation is now pursuing an ambitious strategy to welcome 2.5 million visitors by 2016. International tourism arrivals in Sri Lanka had touched 856,000 in 2011 with a growth rate of 30.79% over 2010. India is believed to be the biggest source of tourists to Sri Lanka, and so the nation is now trying to focus on the influx of Indian tourists to the nation.

TV Seshadri, division president, South Asia, MasterCard Worldwide, said, ‘This alliance underscores our optimism regarding the potential of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, as well as our commitment to developing and promoting 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. We’re excited to be able to deliver even greater travel experiences to MasterCard cardholders through our work with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.’

MasterCard is to use its business influence to promote Sri Lankan tourism in India through propaganda aimed at high-potential travellers.