ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan tour operators and hotels have hailed plans by tourism authorities to expedite an advertising campaign targeting spends in excess of Rs 5.3 billion in 2018, saying arrivals growth had slowed amid promotions by rival destinations.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) plan to expedite the digital advertising campaign planned for early 2018 and the global advertising campaign scheduled for mid-2018.
In a joint communique, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and The Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) said they appreciated the efforts by SLTPB and SLTDA.
“The promotional plans for Sri Lanka Tourism have been long overdue and the industry has felt the need to fast-track such plans to lend high visibility to the destination,” it said.
Overall, arrivals to Sri Lanka have slowed, with only a 3.2% growth in arrivals until end-December 2017.
“Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has felt the downturn during summer 2017 and winter 17/18 due to increased room inventory and aggressive promotions from competing destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, the statement said.
“However, the recent promotional work under taken by the SLTPB has resulted in an increase of 24% in the Dutch market and 7.3% in the U.K. market.”
SLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara together with SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayake have been instrumental in fast tracking the International Marketing Campaign within the brief span of five months, the statement said.
Co-operation between SLTPB and SLTDA is a major contributor to the effectiveness and speed of the promotions, it said.
Both associations said they received support from their respective board nominees who made tireless efforts to voice industry concerns.
This has resulted in the action plan passed by the respective board targeting spends in excess of Rs 5.3 billion for calendar year 2018, the highest estimated spends ever in the history of Sri Lanka tourism, they said.
The board of SLTPB consists of 11 members of which 03 are nominated by SLAITO and 03 by THASL.
(COLOMBO, January 08, 2018)