A new country branding for Sri Lanka Tourism will be unveiled at the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London in November 2018, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga said.
He said that Sri Lanka is now in the process of selecting a global branding agency for this purpose.
The Minister said the objective with this initiative is to give Sri Lanka a distinct brand identity which will help the country differentiate the island in the global competitive tourism landscape.
“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 the Prime Minister 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,” the Minister said.
The launch event in London will comprise several activities including the engagement of the media as well as key leaders from the global travel industry. The activities in London will be graced by the Prime Minister, Tourism Minister and his team.
“Sri Lanka has always focused on its diversity to attract visitors to the country. It’s this diversity that we intend to focus upon, strengthened by its authenticity driven by the rich heritage of our history, nature, culture and our people who smile from the heart that makes our island home a paradise for the visitor. We strongly believe that these factors are further supported by the compactness of this singular island, which gives us a competitive advantage. It makes us distinctive and different,” the Tourism Minister said.
He said the strategic positioning of Sri Lanka as a destination was developed by a special committee who volunteered their time and professional acumen, with assistance from the governing bodies for Sri Lanka Tourism (SLTDA) and Tourism Promotion (SLTPB).
At the invitation of the chairman of this committee, the team engaged the global advertising agencies with representation in Sri Lanka to contribute to the process.
“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). I am confident that this collective and inclusive effort will help drive awareness of Sri Lanka as a destination and will be the fore-runner to help us achieve our ambition of surpassing 3 million visitors in 2019,” the Minister said.
Following the launch of the new brand identity of Sri Lanka, a global marketing campaign will be undertaken, 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.
“It is my intention to launch this campaign in Sri Lanka prior to premiering it to the world at ITB in March 2019. I would very much like to have the participation, engagement and support of the entire nation to make our dream of making Sri Lanka the most desired destination for international visitors,” the Minister said.
He said the Government is committed to ensuring that tourism will drive all sectors of society and the diverse sectors of commercial enterprise.