Sri Lanka to launch global tourism campaign in September targeting 6 million arrivals

By Madhusha Thavapalakumar

The long-awaited global advertising campaign for Sri Lanka Tourism is set to be launched in September this year with Cabinet approval set to be obtained this week, according to Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) sources.

The campaign, which has been in the pipeline for five to seven years under two governments, has been desperately awaited by the industry, particularly following the Easter Sunday attacks and more recently the coronavirus outbreak.

Scheduled to be conducted for a period of five years, the campaign is aimed at bringing in six million tourists by 2025, sources told The Sunday Morning Business.

While the campaign has received the approval of the Treasury, the total cost of it is yet to be revealed.

When we contacted SLTDA Public Relations Director Madhubani Perera for further information, she said the procurement of agencies to conduct the campaign will commence soon and is expected to be completed within the next three to four months, despite any delays caused by the general election in April.

“We are going to call tenders very soon. All the necessary work for procurement has already been completed,” Perera noted.

Bids will be called simultaneously for one Sri Lankan creative agency and for eight foreign market-specific companies to conduct destination representation campaigns.

In planning this campaign, the SLTDA has analysed tourism data from the past five years and segregated the campaign into three categories: Mature Markets, Eastern and Middle Eastern Markets, and New Markets.

The Mature Markets category includes all the top tourism-generating markets of Sri Lanka such as Germany, the UK, France, India, and China. The campaign is expected to increase the arrivals from these countries by 25%. The Eastern and Middle Eastern Markets category includes countries such as Australia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other countries in the region, while the New Markets category includes the US, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Spain.

The SLTDA will appoint destination representation agencies for the mature and Eastern and Middle Eastern markets. These agencies will conduct digital tourism marketing activities and public relation (PR) campaigns in the Eastern and Middle Eastern markets while in the mature markets, in addition to this, they will also conduct Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) marketing campaigns.

Tourism marketing for new markets will be conducted by PR agencies that would showcase PR activities to attract tourists from those respective markets.