Global tourism promotion campaign to be launched next week | Sunday Observer

Global tourism promotion campaign to be launched next week

21 February, 2021

The global campaign to promote the destination and woo in travellers again to the island, will be launched next week following a meeting to be held by the steering committee tomorrow, a senior official of the Ministry of Tourism told Sunday Observer Business on Friday.

He said the promotional campaign targets all key tourism markets of Sri Lanka with a special focus on nontraditional larger markets in the East.

The number of visitors from the UK, a traditional market for Sri Lanka, is expected to be significantly low this year due to the rapid spread of the  pandemic in the country. 

A committee comprising Ministry of Tourism personal and industry experts was set up by the Minister of Tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga recently to spearhead the promotional campaign.

A theme of the global promotional campaign is “Sri Lanka, a safe place to visit”.

Sri Lanka recorded over 4,000 visitors since opening of airports and lifting travel restrictions last month.

The country recorded 1,682 visitors last month following a nine-month closure of airports in March last year.

Around 87 percent of the travellers to the country last month were Ukrainians who were welcomed under the pilot project  launched on December 26.

Others included travellers from China, Belarus, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, India, the Maldives and the United States.

Aitken Spence Travels facilitated the first charter flight from Kazakhstan on February 6.

Sri Lanka tourism targets over 100,000 visitors to the country this year with the backing of the promotional campaign. 

However, industry personnel said all depends on how soon the key travel markets world recovers from the pandemic.

Globally travel dropped by around 74 percent last year over the previous year due to travel restrictions across key destinations being enforced since April 2020. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the collapse in international travel represents an estimated loss of USD 1.3 trillion in export revenue - over 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global economic crisis.

Sri Lanka is known for its wide attractions including the rich historical heritage that enables it to lure in travellers from across the globe.

However, the numbers of visitors it attracts a year is far below its competitors such as Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.