Tourism campaign now unlikely to be ready for ITB

By Charindra Chandrasena

The highly anticipated global promotional campaign for Sri Lanka tourism is unlikely to be ready by March 2019, the month it was scheduled to be launched worldwide at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade fair.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business on Friday (21), Acting Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Dushan Wickramasuriya said that three months was insufficient to produce a campaign of this magnitude from scratch.

“Concept approval for the global campaign in March next year had been obtained from the board of management but I doubt it can be launched at ITB. It is only a couple of months away. We need to go through procurement process and a cabinet approva. All that has to fall into place before we could award the contract.”

However, he emphasised that work has already begun on the preparation for the campaign.

“We have to develop a comprehensive terms of reference and for that to happen there should be over the chairman or the minister. We are in the process of doing that. If that is done, that needs to be sent for the Cabinet for approval. And then Cabinet appoints a procurement committee which gives the clearance. So hopefully by next week there will be continuity with the appointments. If that happens can start moving.”

He added that the So Sri Lanka digital campaign is running in five countries and that the production of a video showcasing Sri Lanka’s natural attractions will start filming in early January.

Earlier on Friday John Amaratunga assumed duties as the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife and said that he would speak to the Ambassadors of foreign missions in an attempt to have the travel advisories issued on Sri Lanka during the crisis lifted.