Sri Lanka develops marketing strategy for tourism growth

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals were down 28 percent from a year earlier to 143,587, but had recovered from a 46 percent fall in August, in the wake of Easter Sunday bombings.

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) has developed a long-term promotions plan focusing on major markets, which has been forwarded to the director board for approval, officials said.

The DailyFT English newspaper quoted the Chairperson of Tourism board Kimarli Fernando saying , “Over the years, we haven’t had a structured and organised long-term global marketing strategy that is long-term.”

“This time around, we will endeavour for such a course, and we are confident of realising this goal, despite challenges revolving around government procurement procedure and differences of opinion among stakeholders.”

She was quoted saying the plan will focus on eight ‘Tier 1’ destinations, which includes UK, Germany, France, China, India, and the United Arab Emirates and ‘Tier 2’ destinations focusing on other markets.

The appointment of a local PR agency is one of the initial steps, followed by calling for expression of interests to carry out destination marketing globally.

The strategy is to be presented at the meeting of the new SLTPB board of directors meeting on Wednesday.

“Tourism is gearing for exciting times. I know there is a lot to do but we are looking forward to realise our goals together as an industry despite challenges,” Fernando was quoted saying.

Sri Lanka has decided to follow a target-based plan to drive tourism revenue to 10 billion US dollars in 2025 from 4.4 billion rupees in 2018 by cutting out unnecessary regulatory barriers that hinder the expansion of the sector.

The objective is to work closely with the private sector as well as different Ministries and Government agencies to achieve the common goal of boosting earnings from tourism to $ 10 billion by 2025, Fernando said. (Colombo/Jan22/2020)