Tourism targets 2.2 million for 2016, $ 2.75 b in revenue

Sri Lanka is eyeing a conservative 2.2 million tourists next year dropping a notch from the previously targeted number of 2.5 million tourist arrivals while aiming at a $ 2.75 million in revenue.

The tourism industry will approximately require an increase of 400,000 tourists and $ 250 million if 2015 targets are met.

The tourism promotional plan of year 2016 is formulated based on five key strategic objectives. These include attracting a target number of 2.2 million visitors with 26% annual growth, and increasing average stay and average daily expenditure of a tourist up to $ 200,

which will subsequently contribute to generating total tourism revenue of up to $ 2.75 billion, and will be the key performance measures.

It will also focus on uplifting Sri Lanka’s brand value to $ 80 million through tactical marketing campaigns focusing on main product offerings of the county which will serve as the overall goal of the promotional strategy devised for 2016.

During year 2015 up to November, Sri Lanka Tourism recorded 18.1% growth on arrivals with 1.5 million arrivals. The total tourism revenue generated was $ 2.2 billion.

Industry stakeholders are confident targets set for 2016 will be met and if a proper marketing plan is in place the results will be more bullish.

Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Devindre Senaratne told the Daily FT: “I think we can achieve the target set out for 2016 and bringing down the previous arrival target was a practical move considering the present climate. If the destination branding plans kicks off at least, the sooner the better I’m confident the industry can reach a 2.6 million arrivals target next year.”

Moreover plans are in the pipeline to appoint PR agencies for major source markets such as Europe, East Asia, Benelux and emerging markets in order to achieve country promotional objectives and aggressively promote the country enhancing its tourism brand in the world.

Additionally the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) will participate at 46 travel fairs and road shows in 20 key countries in order to develop the product brand and generate sales by B2B agent interactions while hosting over 300 travel agents with 200 travel media personnel from the countries around the world under the familiarisation tours.

Sri Lanka tourism also hopes to face the probability of Sri Lankan airlines decision to cancel flights to Europe, by capitalising on the ‘Open Sky’ policy through developing strategic partnerships with all existing key airlines and working with new airlines like Austrian Air, Malindo Air and Air China who will have new operations to Sri Lanka.

The tourism strategy has allocated budgets for working with airlines and strategic partnerships along with attracting charter flights.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/515045/Tourism-targets-2-2-million-for-2016—-2-75-b-in-revenue#sthash.d7MeiMIf.dpuf

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