COLOMBO : Sri Lanka Tourism launched its global campaign, ‘’Sri Lanka – You’ll come back for more’’ at a grand ceremony held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo on the 4th of December 2023. The event was held under the patronage of the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Lands, Sports and Youth Affairs Harin Fernando, along with Sri Lanka Tourism officials and key line agencies and Tourism Industry Stakeholders of Sri Lanka, including Ambassadors representing Diplomatic missions, local and International Media correspondents. The ceremonial moment unveiled as Mr. Chalaka Gajabahu , Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, welcomed the participants by mentioning the purpose and the significance of the occasion, and how Sri Lanka Tourism has moved forward despite its various challenges in restoring the Tourism sector back to normal. The importance of the 360-degree marketing campaign was highlighted as Sri Lanka Tourism has not initiated a global campaign for a considerable time. He further added, if you look at last year and what we have achieved up to today, it’s an amazing development. Last year we ended up with 720,000 and we are already at 1.3 million, which is an amazing achievement.
The colorful setting for the event was arranged in order to represent all four provinces of the country – Northern, Southern, Eastern and western Provinces, also including a wide variety of culinary choices iconic to all four provinces. The setting for the event was tastefully created in order to represent all the tourist attractions of all the provinces, which will be promoted in key markets. Sri Lanka Tourism is on a steadfast and positive journey ahead with its rapid increase of tourist arrivals each month, recently passing the target of one million tourist arrivals. As a result of increase in arrivals compared to year 2022, there has been a considerable increase in tourism revenue to the country. With this progress, the anticipated total of 1.5 million does not seem far – by the close of the year.
Sudesh Sundhara Moorthy – CEO Ogilvy, explained the way forward concept and strategy in this highly anticipated campaign. ‘’We immediately wanted to develop a campaign which was called the “Check In” campaign which communicates that Sri Lanka is safe, and ready to welcome tourists, thus without any hassle from North to the South and East to the West, and this campaign we developed as an interim campaign. After this our most important task was the brand positioning strategy and the brand campaign. The three pillars which we looked at was, that Sri Lanka was a compact island, and that was taken as an advantage. Secondly, Sri Lanka has a diversity of experience and though we are an island, we give much more than Sun, Sea and sand. It was specifically mentioned that Sri Lanka should not be a bucket list destination. The third was, that our experiences are so authentic. No other island of this size can match what we can offer. We also wanted to look at what the travelers were looking for, and the perspective of the potential traveler’ he explained. His presentation as further emphasized by playing two promotional videos which had been specially created for this initial campaign.
The Hon. Minister Harin Fernando addressed the distinguished gathering with his valuable thoughts at this occasion. ‘’Sri Lanka has done so well on its own, thanks to the industry who have spearheaded all the campaigns on their own but I think Sri Lanka Tourism has done a well thought campaign. What we have to realized is that all of us have to play a role to get people to visit Sri Lanka and to ensure the experience is such they will come again. Sri Lanka has much more to offer than what people know about Sri Lanka’’ Minister further stated, that though we are an island we have so much to offer and with wide diversity.
The function was used as an opportunity to recognize the Pekoe Trail award that was presented at British Guild of Travel Writers at International Awards as part of the WTM which was held in early November this year. Mr. Priantha Fernando, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority made a brief note about the award which was presented to the audience. He thanked those who supported in this endeavor. A replica of the award was presented by the Hon. Minister Harin Fernando along with Ministry Secretary and Ministry Officials to the team which contributed a great deal for the project.
Sri Lanka Tourism has seen this success during the year 2023 with its continuous promotional efforts, improving air connectivity, and developing the infrastructure, capacity accordingly. As a result, the new tagline, Sri Lanka – “you’ll come back for more” clearly highlights the amazing travel and holiday experiences this island paradise has to offer, as Sri Lanka Tourism gears up for the upcoming year with more new initiatives for the development of the Tourism sector.
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