Sri Lanka Tourism embarks on focused brand building in Russia

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 02:39 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Given that the Russian economy is struggling with economic embargoes that has resulted in currency depreciation by almost 100% and Russian arrivals to Sri Lanka plunging by 32%, Sri Lanka Tourism had invested in the market with strong brand building with a focused relationship with key travel agents and tour operators at the key Russian fair MITT that was staged in Moscow last week. “Once the economy opens out, the strong relationships can respond to selected market selection where Sri Lanka can benefit,” said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala.                     The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Managing Director Milanka Gajanayaka who ensured the Sri Lanka booth was up and running when the suppliers at the MITT fair found it tough to meet the stringent standards that Sri Lanka Tourism sets for its global marketing promotions. A total of 11 leading tour operators participated at MITT this year including Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Aitken Spence Travels, Deluxe Vacations Ltd., Delux Holidays Ltd., Pigion Island Resort, Long Beach Resort & Spa, Connaissance De Ceylon, Exotic Holiday International Ltd., Bernard Tours Ltd., Green Holiday Center Ltd. and Concord Exotic Voyages Lanka Ltd. Sri Lankan representatives were able to meet with the top tour operators of Russia during the show such as PAKS Tours, Russian Express, TZ Tours, KOMPAS Tours, etc., creating a golden opportunity to revive business strategy during this challenging period of time. The highlight of the conference was the Ceylon Tea Boutique that catered to the visitors with single origin Ceylon Tea which was staged in partnership with the Sri Lanka Tea Board and drew a large crowd for the Ceylon Tea experience. The Sri Lanka Tourism stand stood elegant at the show featuring all aspects of destination promotions with live video screens attracting all visitors. The Sri Lanka Embassy staff in Russia and the Sri Lanka Tourism Brand Manager of the Russian market Viranga Bandara played a key role in achieving promotional goals of MITT. Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to roll out a focused advertising and PR strategy for the Russian market including media promotions and setting up video walls with promotional videos in highly-populated areas such as the Red Square to further develop the avenues in promoting the destination to counter the present situation in the Russian market.