Sri Lanka Tourism selects 8 American kids for ‘Monkey Kingdom Trail’ tour

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In the backdrop of 31.2% visitor arrival growth in July with the US market registering 19.1% growth, Sri Lanka Tourism is targeting the American traveller as a future potential market to be developed by selecting eight lucky American kids from an online consumer promotion.  The epic $ 16.4 billion top billed Disney movie ‘Monkey Kingdom’ documentary which was filmed in Polonnaruwa will be visited by the eight lucky kids in phase one and then extended to attract 20 kids into the country and experience the trail that has been created in Polonnaruwa.

The movie, considered by many as a spectacular tale which is filmed entirely around the sacred city of Polonnaruwa, features troops of monkeys and the footage captures the environment which attracts true lovers of animals and nature of all ages. It cost the producer a staggering $7 million. “Now we want to extend this success to the focus markets of France, UK and then China and we will be using this as a vehicle to build the equity of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination on the DNA of diversity, authenticity and compactness,” said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala.

“Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, co-directors of Disney movies such as ‘Earth’ and ‘Chimpanzee,’ have come together for the production of ‘Monkey Kingdom’. The movie revolves around Maya and her family of toque macaque monkeys. As per the movie Maya’s world changed when her son Kip becomes part of the extended family. These characters keep the audience alive by making them laugh and touching their hearts throughout the movie which supports the brand building story about Sri Lanka,” said Athukorala. “Disney has released a 100 page educator guide which includes the lessons and activities of school projects and quizzes targeted from Grade 2 through Grade 6 which is important to Sri Lanka as this will help us build equity about Sri Lanka as a tourist destination in targeted families when it is launched in countries like China. This can appeal to the environmentally conscious family in China, which can propel a trip to Sri Lanka. This can have the potential to attract a $ 250 traveller, which is the objective. We are also in discussion with authorities in Shanghai to set up the ‘Monkey Kingdom’ trail in the proposed Disney Park that is scheduled to be launched in 2016,” he said.

Sri Lanka Tourism has set the expectation for the movie to targeting 50,000 guests out of USA for 2015 with the current performance being 26,555, said SLTPB Assistant Director Marketing Madusha Perera. “Hence the campaign has been focused to generate awareness of Sri Lanka and influence the decision-making process of a potential traveller. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has already focused on the digital campaign with an objective of reaching niche markets from the USA traveller and discussions are underway with key airlines that operate out of the US for joint promotions,” said Perera.
Sri Lanka Tourism is driving the agenda strongly this year with the West with total tourist arrivals crossing the million arrival mark as at July, registering 1,005,855 visitors. This is a 16.8% growth compared to last year whilst 26,555 tourists have arrived from the USA up to July 2015, accounting for 19.1% growth.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/458661/Sri-Lanka-Tourism-selects-8-American-kids-for-%E2%80%98Monkey-Kingdom-Trail–tour#sthash.sfjAACUN.dpuf

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