Sri Lanka Tourism to unveil ‘destination brand’ in November

The new Country branding for Sri Lanka Tourism will be unveiled at the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London in November 2018, and the process of selecting a global branding agency for this purpose has commenced.

The Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga said in a statement that this would be followed by a global marketing campaign, 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. 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.”

This announcement comes less than a week after Sri Lanka finally awarded contracts to three foreign agencies to kick-start the global digital advertising campaign for tourism from Western Europe.

He added that 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 to 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.”

According to the statement, the strategic positioning was developed by a special committee who volunteered their time and professional acumen, with assistance from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), and with input from global advertising agencies with representation in Sri Lanka.

“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),” Amaratunga said.

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.

For the first seven months of 2018, Sri Lanka has attracted over 1.38 million tourists, up 13.7% year on year, with the government hoping to reach three million tourists for the year, with ambitions of surpassing that figure in 2019.