The new branding and marketing campaign of Sri Lanka tourism will be unveiled at the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London in November in a bid to boost more high-end visitors to the country.
“We are now in the process of selecting a global branding agency for this purpose. Our objective with this initiative is to give Sri Lanka a distinct brand identity which will help us differentiate our island in the global competitive tourism landscape,” Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said yesterday in a statement.
He said the strategy for this important task has been unanimously approved by all relevant bodies governing tourism in Sri Lanka. At a recent meeting, the strategy was presented Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who endorsed it.
“It is hoped that the launch of Sri Lanka destination brand in November 2018 will be a critical driver to attract international visitors to the country,” Amaratunga added. According to him, the launch event in London will comprise several activities including the engagement of media as well as key leaders from the global travel industry.
The activities in London will be graced by Prime Minister along with Minister Amaratunga and other officials.
The Tourism Minister’s statement also noted Sri Lanka had always focused on its diversity to attract visitors to the country: “It’s this diversity that we intend to focus upon, strengthened by its authenticity driven by the rich heritage of our history, nature, culture and our people who smile from the heart that makes our island home a paradise for the visitor. We strongly believe that these factors are further supported by the compactness of this singular island, which gives us a competitive advantage. It makes us distinctive and different.”
The strategic positioning of Sri Lanka as a destination was developed by a special committee who volunteered their time and professional acumen, with assistance from the governing bodies for Sri Lanka Tourism (SLTDA) and Tourism Promotion (SLTPB). At the invitation of the chairman of this committee, the team engaged the global advertising agencies with representation in Sri Lanka to contribute to the process. They made an invaluable contribution towards this process, for which I am most grateful.
This launch will be followed by several communication activities in the print, outdoor and digital media which will be deployed in our generating markets as well as the high potential and high yielding markets, which have been identified in the strategy.
“The development of the strategy has been an inclusive process wherein we engaged the multinational agencies in the country and shared our perspectives with the two foremost bodies engaged with tourism – Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and the Tourist Hoteliers Association of Sri Lanka (THASL). I am confident that this collective and inclusive effort will help drive awareness of Sri Lanka as a destination and will be the fore-runner to help us achieve our ambition of surpassing 3 million visitors in 2019.”
Following the launch of the new brand identity of Sri Lanka, a global marketing campaign will be undertaken, for which the RFP process will be executed in the final quarter of 2018. We intend to launch this campaign at ITB in Berlin in March 2019, which is the largest annual tourism fair in the world.
“It is my intention to launch this campaign in Sri Lanka prior to premiering it to the world at ITB in March 2019. I would very much like to have the participation, engagement and support of the entire nation to make our dream of making Sri Lanka the most desired destination for international visitors,” Minister Amaratunga said.
“We, as a Government, are committed to ensuring that tourism will drive all sectors of society and the diverse sectors of commercial enterprise. We want the country, the people and all organizations located across the island to enjoy the benefits of tourism. We will present Sri Lanka as a dynamic destination which offers the world our renowned beaches, our ancient history and cultural heritage in addition to the myriad of other treasures that exist in our island,” he added.
“We will also highlight our unique wild life offerings, our heritage cities and the places of worship spanning across the island. The City of Colombo, too, with its growing offerings to tourists in retail, entertainment and other varied activities will also be featured in our communications. I invite you to share your views and to support our endeavour because Sri Lanka’s success in tourism will ensure the country’s economic prosperity,” the Tourism Minister said.