Sri Lanka Tourism Strategy: China 2015 launched with private sector

The marketing strategy by Sri Lanka Tourism to market China for 2015 was launched with a private-public partnership in the presence of the Deputy Mission in Charge of the Sri Lankan Embassy of the People’s Republic of China with top 65 photographers from Shanghai Photographic Association capturing the beauty of Sri Lanka under the theme ‘Sri Lanka – beauty in my eyes’.

Today is unique as we have the key stakeholders from the private sector who operate the market China at the launch where together, we will firm up the marketing plan for China and continuously work together to make an impact to the market place said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala. The Chinese Embassy of Sri Lanka Deputy Head of Mission Ren Faqiang commented, “I like the aggressive but focussed strategy of Sri Lanka Tourism in the China market. It is well thought through and more over accountable for delivery of results, Already you are having access to five key markets and now that you are focussing on testing a market development program on the Shi-shuan province is commendable given the accessibility for direct air travel between Chengdu and Colombo,” he commented.

Athukorala voiced, “If we can build the new markets in China like Sichuan Province which has 90 million people and two million who travel overseas to come to Sri Lanka, we operate seven flights a week from the current five will be ideal so that specific hotels can be targeted in line with the interests and requirements of the target group. As at end February the tourist arrivals from China registers a growth of 85.7% over last year and is poised to be the number two market in the Sri Lankan portfolio.
Founder of ASMET veteran tourism expert Mervin Fernandopulle mentioned that the need for translators is key and it must be fast tracked if we are really going to make the experience positive to a Chinese traveller. Respected tourism personality and Managing Director for Jetwing Hotels Shiromal Cooray mentioned that, “For the first time we see the detail marketing plan for the Chinese market and as the GSA for Air China in Sri Lanka I am pleased at the focussed development strategy that we are working to build the business in China. The market head for China at the Sri Lanka tourism promotion bureau Chinthaka Liyanarachchi stated in the Marketing Plan that a combination of above the line and below the line advertising, travel trade meets ups, focussed one to one meetings with the travel trade and media visits by Chinese journalists to current and new tourism products in Sri Lanka will be highlighted so that focussed deals can be linked with the private sector participants. Separately, join promotions with Air China and screen based marketing will also be implemented quipped Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Director Marketing Madhubani Perera.

To make the launch event unique Sri Lanka Tourism on the recommendation of the foreign ministry flew down 65 key photographers from China in partnership with the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka of the People Republic of China where 650 photographs were captured during a 12 day tour of Sri Lanka and the best photos were uploaded to Chinese digital media WE CHAT and WEIBO. Earlier during the year Sri Lanka tourism launched the one million tree stories project with Miss World Rolene Strauss that reached 100 million Chinese.

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