(By Cheranka Mendis)
Given the focus on increasing tourism in the country, the ‘Visit 2011’ year as declared by President Mahinda Rajapaksa will reach the world with a modified logo — one that symbolises the diversity of the country.Moving away from the logo which featured a white elephant with its trunk raised in the backdrop of a blue Sri Lanka with a coconut tree and a sun,
the new logo which reads ‘Refreshingly Sri Lanka, Visit 2011’ is the campaign logo that will be utilised for all promotional campaigns both locally and internationally next year.
The new logo which shows the word ‘Sri Lanka’ in eight different colours stands for aspects of the local tourism industry, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told Daily FT.
“There is a meaningful story behind the Visit 2011 logo,” Godahewa asserted. “According to a recent survey, it was discovered that most tourists coming to Sri Lanka find it a refreshing experience — a novel encounter. Therefore we have decided to sign off with ‘Refreshingly Sri Lanka’ like we sign letters saying ‘Faithfully Yours.’”
The eight different colours used for the words ‘Sri Lanka’ stands for the eight product categories that have been identified as tourism development areas by the Sri Lanka Tourism. Godahewa stated that these eight categories had been worked out after discussions with the industry.
The areas signified by the eight colours are beaches, heritage, sports and adventure (thrills), mind and body wellness (bliss), festivals (festive), scenic beauty, wildlife (wild) and people. “This shows the diversity of Sri Lankan value proposition. Many countries only have two or three of the aspects mentioned, but Sri Lanka has it all in a compact destination.”
Godahewa stated the tagline ‘Wonder of Asia’ would accompany the ‘Visit 2011’ logo, which again has a deeper meaning than what is perceived. The 12 letters in the ‘Wonder of Asia’ stands for different themes for the 12 months announced by Sri Lanka Tourism a few months ago.
In 2011, the month of January will be dedicated for beaches, February for sports and activities, March – MICE, April – people and culture, May – religion tourism, June – weddings and honeymoons, July – health, August – heritage, September – wildlife, October – community (agriculture and fishing), November – culinary and December – shopping and entertainment.
To keep these themes alive, Sri Lanka Tourism has planned various events during those months. Godahewa said that in January an islandwide beach cleaning exercise would take place while in February the ICC World Cup 2011 would happen.
In March the WTO regional conference will be held in Sri Lanka, whereas in June SLT hopes to host 100 foreign weddings in Sri Lanka. In July, an ayurveda exhibition will be held, in August it is the Esela Perahera and related events and in September, the Minneriya elephant gathering.
In October, SLT hopes to encourage the nine provinces to come up with a minimum of nine tourism villages focusing on their strengths and in November the World Spice Festival is set to take place, while in December a large scale shopping festival will take place.