Sri Lanka to promote Wellness Tourism in German speaking countries

Sri Lanka plans to promote itself as a wellness tourism destination in German speaking countries with the expertise of international consulting firms, the Export Development Board (EDB) announced today (7).

In a press release he said the EDB has tied up with Australia’s Market Development Facility (MDF) to develop an International Wellness Tourism Strategy and Brand Development Initiative for Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism.

MDF is supporting EDB to procure the services of Linser Hospitality GMBH based in Austria to conduct phase one of this initiative titled ‘Rapid Assessment of the Potential of Wellness Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka.’

The lead consultant Dr. Franz Linser, the Managing Director of Linser Hospitality GMBH, arrived in Sri Lanka today and will be here till 12th October to meet the stakeholders of the industry and carry out field work. He is a renowned wellness tourism expert involved in many wellness tourism development projects around the world.

The objective of the phase one of this initiative is to provide an overview and analysis of Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism capacity and define its current Unique Selling Proposition. The study will also analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the existing wellness tourism infrastructure and overall communication. Based on this analysis, the assessment will provide key recommendations for a short-, medium- and long-term strategy to maintain and secure new markets to position the country as an attractive destination for wellness tourists.

MDF is an Australian Government-funded multi-country initiative and will support a Rapid Assessment of Wellness Tourism Industry Potential in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, MDF works in diversifying tourism and supporting authentic Sri Lankan products.

Wellness tourism is the powerful intersection of two large and growing industries: the $2.6 trillion tourism industry and the $ 4.2 trillion wellness industry globally. Holistic health and prevention are increasingly at the center of consumer decision-making, and people now expect to continue their healthy lifestyles and wellness routines when they are away from home.

Wellness Tourism is one of the key focused sectors in the National Export Strategy (NES). The sector strategy aimed at global positioning of the sector, focuses on the development and promotion of industry through skills development of the professionals, improving quality and standards, developing synergies and coordination with all stakeholders, country branding and promotion in the key target markets.

The EDB has been actively mobilizing resources to push the Wellness agenda forward. In line with the objectives of branding and promotion and the strategic Action Plan, the EDB, is spearheading an International Brand Development Initiative to develop a strong national brand for Wellness Tourism in Sri Lanka.

The broader international brand development exercise will consist of four phases : A Rapid Assessment of the Potential Wellness Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka, Product Development, Brand Evaluation & Development, and a Marketing Strategy. This initiative will focus on looking at the long-term tangible benefits of this national initiative for the industry would include – quality jobs in the tourism sector as a result of approaching new sophisticated markets through a fresh product range, and an increase in high-value wellness tourists from new markets will contribute to greater revenue generated for the tourism industry.

Parallel to the brand development and promotional activities are a series of priority actions also steered by the WTAC in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Department of Ayurveda and EDB to further strengthen institutional capacity and improve sector coordination. A year into implementation, the demand-driven Wellness Tourism Strategy, steered by its public-private platform, is actively priming Sri Lanka to capitalize on US$ 4.2 trillion global wellness industry by 2019 – (Global Wellness Institute).