Seniya Samarasekera, Managing Director/Founder of AV Productions commented on Sri Lanka’s focus being on the destination tourism sector. The audio and visual equipment supplier owner thinks that the local events sector, Sri Lanka holidays such as tourism, hospitality businesses and the local tourism authorities should have a clearly-defined strategy and plan for the upcoming tourism boost the country is set to see.

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Being in the tourism and events industry for more than 20 years, he has branched a wing of his company out to the destination tourism field as he’s seen it grow year upon year. There is a large-scale expo centre which he runs that has restaurants, conference halls and featured audio/visual displays and equipment.

Aside from this new project, Mr Samarasekera will be opening his boutique hotel for the those on Sri Lanka holidays and VIP visitors of the expo centre and has already claimed the backing and blessing of the local Government. This is incredible news for the businessman, but there is one thing that is missing: finance. He is waiting for a private investor to help fund and implement the plan. He has a foreign events company investor in his sights for the financing who he has been working with for several years, and expects the project to be completed in a few years. His expo centre will have the capacity to house 4-5,000 people and includes all modern and mod-con audio-visual equipment.

This means that Mr Samarasekera will have a one-stop-shop for conferences and accommodation in and around his project. The Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) vertical allows him to offer a full-service conference package for any businesses and companies choosing Sri Lanka as their destination for meetings. As Sri Lanka ties Asia to the West it is a common meeting and stop-off point for flights, therefore it makes sense to have this type of business there. Indian businesses meet with Russian, Chinese, Japanese, American and European, therefore Sri Lanka can pose as the mediation and meeting ground for these companies.

The local tourism for those on Sri Lanka holidays, local events and hospitality industry has been steadily rising but with plans from the Government to push tourism more and the addition of the new airport, it seems that this will only rise in the future. His company, AV Productions, regularly holds incentive programmes and the events market has grown hugely since 2010. All of this came from the man who had Rs. 25,000 in his pocket in 1992 with albeit only a handful of competitors, he managed to establish the company and grow every year since.

When asked about up-coming entrepreneurs of the new generation of people coming through, Mr Samarasekera said, “they should have a lot of patience and that to remember the customer is king”. With that, he said, new business owners will do well as long as they are persistent and bide their time. He mentioned that they should be focused for 100% of the time and be personally involved in every part of the business to ensure it runs as sweetly as it can. Building long-term relationships is the key to success and that is how AV Productions has managed to continue to thrive.

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