February 23, 2019

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    Sri Lanka drives on Rs.5 bn promo spend in 2019

    January 27, 2019

    Sri Lanka will be driving promotions this year with an allocation of Rs.5 billion, the state promotion bureau officials said.The allocations made for tourism promotion for this year of Rs.5 billion has been set aside for a number of areas in promoting the destination, officials said.

    About 37 per cent of the allocation would be for marketing and promotions overseas in the form of road shows, familiarisation tours and participation in travel fairs, officials said.In addition, the advertising spend that would include the global campaign and the digital campaigns would be allocated 47 per cent.Public relations activities have been allowed three per cent of the Rs.5 billion and another three per cent set aside for supporting operations like finance and administration as well.

    As part of the new product development, film tourism, whale watching and the Ramayana trail and destination social responsibility that involves cleaning the Sripada have been given three per cent of the total spend for this year. In addition seven per cent has been allocated for other support carried out by the Promotions Bureau for international events held in Sri Lanka.

    There would be increased focus on three markets in particular that generated 50,000 travellers each from countries like Russia, Australia and the Netherlands.Officials point out that playing a key promotional drive into these markets with additional road shows and participation in trade fairs is due to their own interest in travelling to the country following increased connectivity established with destination Sri Lanka.Russia commenced charter flights via Russia Air that is flying into the country; the Netherlands set out its KLM flights to Sri Lanka indicating a potential in the traffic movement that has increased since operations began; and Australia is a market from which Sri Lanka is drawing over 100, 000 in 2018 alone due mainly to the direct flights between Colombo and Melbourne on the national carrier SriLankan Airlines.

    It was noted that although there had been in the past a considerable traffic of expatriates from Australia flying into Colombo however, there has been a growing trend for most Australian tourists to visit the country following the commencement of these flights.Sri Lanka will be carrying out roadshows in Russia at Moscow and St. Petersburg starting in March and at Ekaterinburg in September. During this same period the industry would be participating at the MITT travel trade fair in Moscow. Sri Lanka is also tipped to participate at the OHDYK Leisure Fair held in September this year.The promotions bureau will be carrying out roadshows in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia this November.

    The industry had participated at the Vakantiebeurs Fair in the Netherlands held earlier this month.Other key markets that the industry would be eyeing this year are the traditional India, China, Germany, the UK and the West Asian nations.In Germany Sri Lanka will carry out roadshows in the cities of Berlin, Stuttgart, Essen and Leipzig during September this year. The CMT Stuttgart travel fair will see participation from the local travel industry this month as well as in March when the ITB Travel Fair kicks off in Berlin.

    In India they would be present in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and New Delhi during August that would be in addition to the participation at the SATTE Travel and Tourism Fair in New Delhi last week. Participation at other travel fairs in July this year would include the TTF in Kolkata and the TTF Hyderabad Travel Fair in addition to the August TTF Ahmadabad.Sri Lanka is planning on a number of roadshows during the year at Guiyang, Xiamen/Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing and Shenyang.

    Some of the West Asian nations that would be given a feel of Sri Lanka would be Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon and Jordan.More roadshows have been organised in countries like France, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Austria, Scandinavia, Spain, Israel, Malaysia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.The travel and tourism trade fairs for this year have also been scheduled for participation in Austria, Norway, Luxemburg, Finland, Spain, US, Switzerland, UK, Belgium, Israel, Estonia, Italy, Sweden Czech Republic, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Ukraine, Japan, Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Italy, Poland, Canada, Switzerland and Turkey.

    Meanwhile, it is learnt that the global promotion campaign is set to get further delayed by another four to five months.Officials state that the processes involved in obtaining approvals were time consuming but had to be followed in accordance with government regulationsThe delay in running the campaign scheduled to kick off at the ITB trade fair was due to the fact that work was held up in obtaining approvals due to political issues.At a special board meeting held on Wednesday discussions were carried out on the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the global promotion campaign and the steps involved in the process to obtain approvals.The action plan for the year was also presented to the board by the Promotion Bureau officials.

     

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