- 3000 kg of black tea to be plucked
- 35,000 cups of tea to be served at Esala Perahera
- Guinness World Record attempt to be featured at global travel fairs
- New global advertising campaign in the making
Sri Lanka will attempt to claim a Guinness World Record by plucking 3,000 kg of tea at the Pedro Estate, with the help of 200 foreigners, and serving 35,000 cups of tea at the Esala Perahera. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said this feat would put the country on the world map. “This must be supported by the launch of a global branding and promotional campaign on tourism after a lapse of six years which is now at a ‘shortlist’ stage where the top seven global advertising agencies are in the running,” he emphasised.
“Sri Lanka Tourism will cross the $ 3-billion net receipts in 2015 and the new advertising campaign will help Sri Lankan positioning on the proposition of the DNA – diversity, compactness and authenticity which will help the overall objective of attracting the $ 250-dollar tourists rather than just going after arrivals,” said Athukorala.
The private sector partners of the Guinness record bid are Basilur, the global tea brand and household business brand, Maliban, which will be the new ethos of the Government on the Private-Public-People partnership to building brand Sri Lanka,” he said. “Research indicates that when a country’s brand value pegs up the quality of investments increases while the quality of the tourists that it can attract also increases while the export market country mix also tends to change which is what Sri Lanka needs to do.”
At the ‘World’s Largest Tea Party’ Sri Lanka Tourism will invite foreign guests from key countries such as India, China, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Middle East, Australian and United States as well as nations from the Scandinavian region. “To be part of the event which will be linked to social media that takes the story to the key markets so that we can get on the news of the world. Earlier this month Sri Lanka Tourism launched a unique global competition where the best 20 online videos submitted will get a 365-day holiday whilst a weekly direct mail themed ‘message in a bottle’ has been touching the key global media, designation marketing companies ( DMC’s) around the world. In the key markets, we do focus below the activations by way of road shows branded ‘One island, thousand treasures’ while also being in person with the private sector in the key travel and trade fairs globally under the theme ‘8 wonderful experiences in 8 wonderful days’,” said Athukorala. “We will extend the Guinness Record to the world by way of the ‘Ceylon Tea Boutique’ concept which is in every exhibition that we take part globally which costs us over a Rs. 1 billion annually,” he added.
Athukorala stated that Sri Lanka had garnered over a million tourists in just seven months at a growth of 16.8% as at the end of July 2015 and July spiked to 31.2% growth in visitors, which was interesting given that China became the top source market.
“However, the dominance of the informal sector accounting for 49% of the arrivals which is approximately 7.3 million room nights must be addressed as we are launching a 200 million digital marketing campaign with the best online organisations that must help the formal sector that support SLTPB with the funding required for aggressive marketing,” commented Chairman Athukorala.