The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and The Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) yesterday in a joint communiqué said they appreciated the efforts by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to expedite the digital advertising campaign planned for early 2018 and the global advertising campaign scheduled for mid of this year.
The promotional plans for Sri Lanka tourism have been long overdue and the industry has felt the need to fast-track such plans to lend high visibility to the destination. Overall, arrivals to Sri Lanka have slowed, with only a 3.2% growth in arrivals until end-December 2017.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has felt the downturn during summer 2017 and Winter 17/18 due to increased room inventory and aggressive promotions from competing destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. However the recent promotional work under taken by the SLTPB has resulted in an increase of 24% in the Dutch market and 7.3% in the UK market.
SLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara together with SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayake has been instrumental in fast-tracking the international marketing campaign within the brief span of five months.
The communique further congratulated the Boards of SLTPB and SLTDA for pushing promotions despite various obstacles and challengers. The cooperation between SLTPB and SLTDA has is a major contributor to the effectiveness and speed of the promotions.
Both associations received support from their respective Board nominees who made tireless efforts to voice industry concerns. This has resulted in the action plan passed by the respective Board targeting spends in excess of Rs. 5.3 b for calendar year 2018, the highest estimated spends ever in the history of Sri Lanka tourism. This further strengthens the plans and guidelines identified by the Tourism Task Force under the advice of the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs.
The associations have urged Board members to continue to support the respective Boards of SLTPB and SLTDA and to make Sri Lanka tourism a major contributor to the economic development of the country.
The Board of SLTPB consists of 11 members of whom three are nominated by SLAITO and three by THASL as per the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005.