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Sri Lanka’s New Campaign to Draw International Tourists
Jun 25, 2009

In an attempt to boost the tourism industry, Sri Lanka is launching its “re-branding campaign” on a global scale.

The Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau has revealed that the country is looking ahead to launch an intense “re-branding campaign” worldwide in order to promote itself as a safe tourist destination, as reported by Press Trust of India on June 10, 2009.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Faiszer Musthapha stated, “The country expects to triple the arrival of tourists from the present five lakh to two million in the next two years,” quoted expressNews on June 10, 2009.

Sri Lanka is planning to draw maximum tourist arrivals from South Asia, particularly from India, by promoting various sites of religious importance as well as other tourist spots across the country, including its northern region that was earlier under the influence of LTTE.

The campaign is to be officially launched on June 23, 2009 in Colombo. As per the reports, the Indian Embassy to Sri Lanka will support the campaign. 

Sri Lanka and India jointly emphasized on the need to further strengthen their bilateral relations in the area of tourism. The constitution of the two India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group delegations may reflect a partnership approach between the private enterprises and the government. Buddhist sites would be an important area to focus upon as these serve as a key link between the two neighbors.

The efforts of Sri Lankan tourism board also include cultural as well as folk music events that are likely to extend up to many big cities in China and India. 

Besides this, Sri Lankan tourism board has initiated many familiarization tours for journalists as well as tour operators, not only from its major tourism markets but also from non-traditional markets.

According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “After the big victory of the Sri Lankan military over LTTE, the country is now all set to lure foreign travelers by means of its aggressive promotion campaign. However, being an island nation, Sri Lanka continues to face issues like lack of infrastructure and thus, needs to work in this area. Proving the country a safe tourist destination is another tough call for Sri Lankan tourism board.”