Strengthening friendships between neighbours to boost tourism

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Thailand has always had a good relationship with Sri Lanka sharing similar cultural, religious and trade links which date back to ancient times. Sri Lanka Tourism has carried out many projects and promotional activities with Thailand, as an attempt to have a strong bond between the two countries. These Promotional activities include hosting of Thai journalists and familiarisation tours, B2B sessions with local and Thai Travel Agents and participating at Travel Fairs.

The year 2015 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand. A series of events were organised by the two foreign ministries in collaboration with the respective embassies in Colombo and Bangkok to celebrate this exclusive milestone followed by President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Thailand. Apart from this, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) also held a tourism promotion event at the premises of the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and distributing of printed brochures of Buddhist related sites in the Thai Language.

In April, under the Visiting Journalists’ Program carried out by the SLTPB, a familiarisation tour was organised for Thai journalists from “Thew Rob Lok’’ (Around the World), a monthly publication with a wide circulation of around 50,000 Thai Nationals. This was organised to increase destination awareness and promote Sri Lanka as one of the key destinations for Thai tourists.

In February 2016, Sri Lanka participated at the Thai International Travel Fair (TITF) in Bangkok, with Tourism stakeholders, to promote destination Sri Lanka, enabling Thai and International visitors, stakeholders, investors and businessmen to share their ideas about travel and tourism. Realising the importance of developing the Thai market, Sri Lanka Tourism also participated in this fair, with local Travel Agents and Hoteliers.

TITF is regarded as Thailand’s largest outbound tourism exhibition in Thailand as well as one of the most renowned exhibitions in the world Tourism Society.

The SLTPB booth at TITF showcased the rich cultural heritage and tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. A colourful dance item was also performed which drew the attention of the crowd. On the sideline of the travel fair, a reception and B2B meetings were arranged with tourism industry stakeholders of Sri Lanka and Thailand at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok in February, 2016. This was arranged in collaboration with Sri Lankan Airlines and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Thailand.

Another key promotion effort was a Travel Familiarisation Tour arranged by the SLTPB for 10 key travel agents from Thailand. The tour was arranged to coincide with the Kandy Esala Perehara, in line with SLTPB’s strategy of promoting local events globally. The group was in Sri Lanka from 10-17 August and covered key tourist attractions including the cultural triangle. A B2B meeting was also held following the FAM tour in Sri Lanka.

SLTPB Assistant Director, Marketing Chami Lanka Gasnawage said a consumer Awareness Program is going to be held ahead of the TITF in February 2017.

“We are planning to have Trade FAM and a Journalist FAM and distribute Heritage Brochures Festive Scenic translated to Thai Language. It’s going to be done next year. In parallel to the TITF a road show is also going to be conducted next year as well. We’re planning a Billboard Advertising Campaign too,” she said.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, (SLTPB) is trying to increase its promotional activities regarding Thailand, by developing strategies to attract more Thai nationals to visit Sri Lanka , by organising projects and familiarisation tours which especially highlight the religious , cultural and environmental value of Sri Lanka and try to focus on strengthening the economic ties between the two countries.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/568248/Strengthening-friendships-between-neighbours–to-boost-tourism#sthash.2lCpJoES.dpuf

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