Cinnamon claims credit for Sri Lanka topping Lonely Planet travel list

ECONOMYNEXT- The Cinnamon Travel Bloggers’ Conference & Awards (TBC Asia) has contributed to Lonely Planet naming Sri Lanka as the top country to visit in 2019, a top official said.

"This is to a large extent a result of our 2016 edition," John Keells Holdings Plc Deputy Chairman Krishan Balendra said.

John Keells’ leisure brand Cinnamon holds the conference every two years for travel bloggers as well as for industry professionals interested in knowing how to market their products and services through bloggers and influencers.

Balendra said that a Lonely Planet ‘in-the-know travel pro’ Ethen Gelber had won an award for his blog at the last TBC Asia edition in 2016, and had endorsed Sri Lanka to the international publication.

Sri Lanka topping the Lonely Planet list for 2019 grabbed headlines globally. Lonely Planet is the world’s leading travel guide publisher.

Many had criticized Lonely Planet for naming Sri Lanka as the top destination despite recent social unrest and sexual harassment of female tourists, but the publication had defended the island, saying it was not the norm.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said that with an ever increasing number of destinations, reaching the right bloggers is essential to market a country.

"With a lot of choices, social media influencers and bloggers can help differentiate a destination," he said.

He said 85 percent of the tourists research online before making a decision to travel.

On a lighter vein, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ranjit Fernando said that Sri Lanka is leading the world in many aspects, being the first country in the world to have two serving Prime Ministers, and having the largest number of holidays in the world, indicating the country is rich.

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TBC Asia 2018 is held under the theme of ‘Agents of change. Creating transformational digital content for travel.’ (Colombo/Oct31/2018)
 

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