Punjab to send delegation to learn tourism promotion from Sri Lanka

Lahore: Pakistan’s provincial government of Punjab has decided to send a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka to study the island’s tourism industry, in a move to promote tourism in the province.

Officials of the Punjab government will visit Sri Lanka from 8-11 September, according to a report in The Nation newspaper.

The purpose of the visit, which is sponsored by World Bank, is to look for ways to build knowledge partnerships, share best practices and explore the opportunity for joint training to enhance cultural and heritage tourism sector in Pakistan.

The government delegation will meet with Sri Lanka tourism board, Buddhist scholars, academia, and representatives from media, marketing, hotel industry and private sector.

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According to the report, Pakistan is full of religious sites such as the Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka and needs focus of the government to promote them.

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

At this backdrop, Sri Lanka’s tourism promotional plan of year 2016 is formulated based on five key strategic objectives.

Attracting a target number of 2.5 million visitors with 26% annual growth, increasing average daily expenditure of a tourist up to $ 200 and average stay, contributing to generate a total tourism revenue up to $ 2.75 billion will be the key performance measures.

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

The strategic development plan of Sri Lanka Tourism strives for 1.5 million visitors in total (130,000 from Germany) in 2014, 2.5 million in 2016 and 4 million in 2020.

At the same time the tourism related employment is supposed to increase from 125,000 in 2010 to 500,000 by 2016, tourism based industry and services are to be expanded and the economic benefits of tourism shall be distributed to a larger cross section of the society.

The Pakistan cultural ad Heritage Tourism Project of world Bank group is a five year project to assist the government of Punjab to optimally exploit the potentials of recreational, adventure, cultural historical and heritage tourism.

Punjab has great potential to attract tourism especially regarding religious tourism for Sikhs and Buddhist sites. Approximately, 40 percent of the world tourism revenue is linked to religious tourism and this is a market with tremendous potential that Pakistan has yet to develop.

It is to be noted that in the regional tourism conference held on 27-28 March in Lahore where the director general of tourism development authority of Sri Lanka was in attendance, it was recognised that Sri Lanka and Pakistan can mutually benefit from knowledge sharing and partnerships.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/566071/Punjab-to-send-delegation-to-learn-tourism-promotion-from-Sri-Lanka#sthash.GMWJLYIF.dpuf

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