Global Tourism Promotion Campaign back on drafting table

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The ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign’ has gone back to the drafting table, according to a senior official, who said that the crisis-mitigation public relations programme is being re-evaluated, as tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were picking up faster than anticipated.

The ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign’, which was scheduled to launch in January this year, was delayed to 24 April after the political turmoil during the latter part of last year. However, the programme was further delayed due to the tragic Easter Sunday attack.

Soon after the tragic incident, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) planned for a Rs 454 million crisis-mitigation public relation campaign with J. Walter Thompson.

However, according to SLTPB MD, Charmarie Maelge, the programme is currently being re-evaluated, as tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were picking up faster than expected.

“The growth since the tragic Easter Sunday attacks has been encouraging and we are currently welcoming nearly 4,000 tourist on a daily basis. We hope the number will improve to 5,000 visitors by the end of this month, she said.

“The industry should reach its normal levels by end of this year and all measures to ensure its success have been put in place,”she said.

She said that the much-delayed ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign’ had been further delayed, as it was once again on the dating table at the Attorney General’s office to fine tune the clauses.

Though there is no date for the launch, the programme will be rolled out soon as the agreement is completed and necessary approvals obtained.

Sri Lanka saw its tourist arrival numbers shrink more than 70 per cent in May against the same month of last year, and recovered to a drop of nearly 58 per cent in June year-on-year.

Despite the tragic attack, Sri Lanka managed to hold on to number-one destination ranking by ‘Lonely Planet’ and was also ranked as the best place to visit by international travel organizations.

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