Sri Lanka to tap Australian outbound tourism market in 2016


Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau(SLTPB) in collaboration with the Sri Lankan mission in Australia has taken a step forward to promote Destination Sri Lanka among the potential Australian outbound travellers.

SLTPB has invited a travel writer from one of the leading Australian online travel websites called ‘ETB Travel News’ ( to undertake a media familiarisation tour of Sri Lanka. Australian based Travel News Media Ltd. is the publisher of ETB Travel News. The popular online travel journal, sharing travel industries most up-to-date and trust worthy global travel news among the Australian travel agents and independent travellers for 15 years.

ETB Travel News also provides the necessary virtual space to promote holiday destinations around the globe. India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong are few of the known Sri Lanka’s competitors those who are also benefited by the ETB Travel News. Today it has become one of the leading online travel website for the whole Asia Pacific.

Representing the ETB Travel News, Robert La Bua (aka Mr. e Traveller) arrived in Sri Lanka on the 26 January to undertake a media familiarisation tour as part of Sri Lanka Tourism’s Visiting Journalist Program (VJP). Robert is a veteran travel writer who writes creative travel articles for his dedicated webpage called ‘Mr. e Traveller -Page’ on ETB Travel News. Based on the experiences he will gain through the offered familiarisation tour program, Robert is planning to publish five separate travel articles about Destination Sri Lanka in his Mr. e Traveller Page.

Together with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia, Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association (SLAITO) and The Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), Sri Lanka Tourism has organised this media familiarisation tour program by including some of the exotic holiday locations and experiences offered by Destination Sri Lanka.

With such media familiarisation programs Sri Lanka Tourism focus to promote emerging attractions such as Passikudah, Ella, Arugam Bay and some of the lively leisure activities including safari, surfing and whale watching expeditions in Sri Lanka.

Surprisingly, according to Robert’s main target readers/viewers of ETB Travel News web are travel agents in Australia. As he stated: “Even though increasing number of Australian Frequent Independent Travellers (FITs) tends to travel in solo, still the larger share from the outbound market has been dominated by the travel agents. Even in most cases FITs are also keen to get consultancy from a local travel operating company prior to their travel to a holiday destination.”

Robert described Sri Lanka as a destination which will be able to market itself in terms of richness of the culture, nature, wildlife, etc. However, he admits that promoting Destination Sri Lanka is just a question about providing more reliable information about quality accommodation sector, transport and all other related services.

As per his own words “even though the travel agencies work in the travel industry,  in most cases they are not  fully aware  about the destination – up-to-date – to provide much vibrant leisure information to their clients, so it is my job to fulfil that space with more information about these destinations.”

Australia has one of the stronghold outbound tourism markets in the Asia Pacific Region with over 5.5 million departures in the year 2014. New Zealand is the top benefit holder from this movement by gaining over 1.2 million arrivals in the same year (2014). This was behind by Indonesia accounting one million arrivals (as at 2014 statistic reports).

Even though the Australians appetite to travel abroad has grown over the years, they have been slightly less predictable. In 1991 the top five destinations of New Zealand, United States, UK, Indonesian and Hong Kong constituted 55% of all overseas travel.

Now the top destinations (the same as in 1991 except Thailand has replaced Hong Kong) account for 48%. However, there has been significant growth in destinations such as India, China and Vietnam which has shown a green light to Destination Sri Lanka to expand the market share within Australian outbound tourism sector.

While targeting over 69,500 Australian travellers during the year 2016, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will be planning to invite some of the high profile journalists from Australia to promote and increase awareness about destination Sri Lanka.

Officials from Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed Robert La Bua (aka Mr. e Traveller) at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

Source :


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