Sri Lanka Tourism to kick-off global PR campaign soon | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Tourism to kick-off global PR campaign soon

27 October, 2019
Sri Lanka has been a preferred destination for discerning travellers.
Sri Lanka has been a preferred destination for discerning travellers.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will float tenders calling for global PR partners to bid for the Global PR campaign which will be launched across 13 markets shortly once Cabinet approval has been sought, said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Kishu Gomes.

He was addressing the media on the visit of a high powered delegation from the German Travel Association last week.

“We will carry out the PR campaign when Cabinet approval has been given with an estimated cost of Rs. 550 million which will be allocated for the selection of PR partners,” Gomes said.

The much looked forward to PR campaign to woo in travellers to the country, especially after the Easter Sunday attacks has been in the backburner too long due to political and bureaucratic dilly dallying.

The number of travellers to the country recorded a cumulative drop of 20 percent up to September this year compared to the corresponding period last year.However, the number of visitors to the country since the Easter bombings has been on the rise. The number of year-on-year dipped 46 percent in July, 57 percent in June and 70.8 percent in May.

Tourist arrivals in the first nine months this year declined by 20.5 percent to 1,376, 312 compared to 1,731,922 recorded during the corresponding period last year. The total number of arrivals last year was 2,333,796.Sri Lanka Tourism plans to hire German PR companies and conduct FAM tours for German travellers in a bid to boost the high end tourist market in Europe. Arrivals from Germany in 2018 were 1,56, 888, a 20 percent growth over the previous year and in the nine months this year, it has been 93, 886.

While the average spending of a traveller in Sri Lanka is around US$ 174 a day, it is between US$ 350 to $ 1,500 by a German.

Germany was the leading market for Sri Lanka tourism from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s contributing a substantial revenue to the State coffers.Germany with a population of around 84 million and a per capita income of US$ 47,600 has a vibrant economy recording the highest surplus in the balance sheet in 2016.President DRV (German Travel Association) Nobert Fiebig said Sri Lanka has much to offer and added that the Association will ask all travel agents and tour operators to look at Sri Lanka as a location to travel. The German Travel Association comprises 4,000 members which include travel agents and tour operators covering 95 percent of the German travel market.

”We gladly accept the invitation by Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister to visit the country and help promote the destination. We want to picture and express what Sri Lanka is and how the destination has coped this year and are eager to see and hear about Sri Lanka’s recovery.

We will build on these impressions. We will talk to local tourism industry and government institutions on ways to market the country effectively on the German source market,” Fiebig said, adding that if all goes well the DRV will come back next year accompanying around 60 travel agents and the No. 1 German Tourism and Travel Magazine to boost booking from Germany. With a 1,600 kilometre coastline, beautiful beaches, exotic places, historical sites and a history spanning over 3,000 years Sri Lanka has been a preferred destination for discerning travellers.Sri Lanka Tourism expects a somewhat better winter this year with the situation normalising in the county.

“We expect the winter season to be better than we thought and the arrivals by the end of the year to reach 1.9 million.

We have two more months to go and on average if we get around 1,50,000 visitors per month, we could reach that figure,” an official of the SLTPB said.