Sri Lanka Tourism spells out Rs. 3.4 bln budget for tourism promo

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is planning to market the island as a “peaceful destination” and increase awareness among tourists from mostly the traditional markets under a promotion campaign costing Rs. 3.4 billion.

Some of the plans under the Tourism Master Plan include branding Sri Lanka as a “peaceful destination” for tourists, investors and international business community, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said. Sri Lanka would also be looking at improving its global image by using some of the traditional and existing events held locally and encouraging to initiate about 12 events per year.

Mr. Athukorala explained that in this regard they were looking at finding sponsors to sustain long term local events.

In addition, the bureau with the industry plans to host mega events with a global appeal by introducing and hosting four world class events per year with mega promotional activities by targeting entertainment, sport and celebrity personalities.

The industry has agreed to continue tourism promotion in the emerging markets in a bid to sustain the present growth momentum in arrivals to the country.

The focus markets are: India, UK, China, Germany, Middle East, France, Russia and CIS countries, Australia, Japan, USA, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Italy, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Belgium and Austria.

The private sector has commended the plan for which their consultations were sought, adding that the activation process had already commenced despite the limited resources available at the SLTPB.

Mr. Athukorala pointed out that as part of the strategic plan they hope to encourage charter flight operations aimed at improving airline connectivity to the island.

The SLTPB has budgeted spending Rs. 3,415 million this year which includes approximately Rs.1, 435 million for the key markets alone, it was stated.

Some of the highest allocations have been made to China topping approximately Rs.176 million followed by the UK, Germany, India and France.

A roadshow has been planned for Bangalore and the bureau has also undertaken printing of promotional material for another roadshow as part of the re-launching of the Ramayan Trail.

In the UK, the bureau together with the industry has planned for roadshows to be carried out in Manchester, Birmingham, London and two other cities, Mr. Athukorala explained adding that in this respect they would be hiring a PR company to coordinate the events and invite travel agents for these events.

Roadshows have been planned for the Chinese market parallel to the travel trade fairs; in addition to a bus advertising campaign in Kunming continued from last year till this month and media advertisements on both electronic and social.

Joint promotions have also been organised with both leading Chinese travel agents and Air China and SriLankan Airlines. Moreover, they hoped to develop a mobile application as well to boost Sri Lanka Tourism in Mandarin.

Roadshows in the main cities including Berlin have been organized from July – December in addition to many more in the Middle Eastern market in Jeddah, Dammam, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain as well as in Moscow.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx#

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