Sri Lanka: Tourism marketing tag line ‘So Sri Lanka’?
The much awaited tourism marketing campaign has finally been awarded to JWT.
‘So Sri Lanka’ is the marketing tagline that has been proposed, the industry sources said. Some of the taglines promoted by other Asian destinations include, ‘Visit Malaysia’ by Malaysia, ‘Amazing Thailand’ by Thailand and ‘Gods Own Country’ by the Indian state of Kerala.
The Government will have to seriously rethink of SriLankan Airlines and create a PPP for the airline, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), 53rd Annual General Meeting at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo.
Prime Minister said that the Government cannot be pumping Rs. 200 to 300 million regularly to up keep the SriLankan Airlines. “It would have been more productive to have given this to the travel sector for their destination promotions,” he said.
Prime Minister said that to develop tourism in Sri Lanka, they need to fly in tourists for lower airfare and also have more domestic airports. “We have now developed Batticalore, Trincomalee and Palali.”
Premier said that the Mattala Airport would be once again made an international airport by leasing it out to Airport Authority of India which will bring in more tourists to India.
Premier said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also indicated to have more promotions in India to woo additional Indian tourists to Sri Lanka.
Premier said that the Government is keen on export oriented economy and soon tourism industry would be considered an ‘Export Industry’ which in turn would help to obtain more benefits.
Premier also said that assistance would be also provided for hotel schools as the industry needs more employees. Prime Minister also disclosed that the much awaited and long overdue funds for the Tourism destination Marketing Campaign too was approved by the Cabinet. “We must all sit and plan out a strategy not to attract 20 million tourists but to get five million guests, out of which three million would be high spenders.”
“We have to re think and plan out campaigns where the tourists who stay in a guest house or with Airbnb come back again to Sri Lanka with his family and stay at an up market hotel.”
Plans should also be drawn to extend the stay of tourists in Sri Lanka where the guest nights in Anuradhapura should be extended to three. “Don’t sell rooms but sell experiences,” he advised.
“When I visited Hanoi in Vietnam I saw luxury hostels where there were fewer beds in a dometry and more luxury been offered and the local industry too must come out with innovative ideas.” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe finally said that the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew told him that Tourism must be like a pick pocket and take money out of tourists without being noticed!”.
Over 200 industry leaders, business leaders and the diplomatic community participated for the event.