Govt. to merge three bodies to boost tourism | Sunday Observer

Govt. to merge three bodies to boost tourism

The Government is exploring the possibility of merging three key tourism institutions to boost the industry by making it more cost effective.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) will be merged into a single agency under the new model. According to an Industrial Export, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Civil Aviation official, Cabinet approval for the project is expected early next week.

Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said the merging of the SLTDA, SLTPB and SLCB is ideal as it would reduce the costs on similar activities such as promotions. The three institutes will share the resources under a singular agency.

Fernando said that it would synergise and make tourism related work cost effective. Employees will not be laid off by this move, she said.

The authorities are also awaiting Cabinet approval to kick-start a fresh tourism promotion campaign.

This will test the fate of ‘So Sri Lanka’ tagline that was coined by the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, introduced end 2018 replacing the ‘Wonder of Asia’.

“My belief is that it is not prudent to change a tagline every four to five years. We need to wait for the Cabinet’s response to take a decision,” the tourism chairperson said.

The Tourism Ministry hopes to attract four million tourists this year, and target five billion US dollars in revenue.