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After many consultations and deliberations the Sri Lanka Promotions Strategy-2015 has been approved by the private sector in a land mark public-private partnership which herald a new way of working that included monthly evaluation. “We are implementing is the new thinking” said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Beureu Rohantha Athukorala. Infact this was the first task we embarked on after taking office three months back on the direction of the Hon. Minister Naveen Dissanayaka and it is good to note that we have got written endorsement from the private sector after many consultations and we value”0 the new thinking given by the industry professionals.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Naveen Dissanayake and Chairman of SLTPB , Mr.Rohantha Athokorala at ITB Berlin
The Sri Lanka promotions Bureau has been dogged with corruption allegations in the value of over six hundred million in the previous regime whilst the top two officials of the previous regime is on bail post arrest whilst many in the current cadre are continuously been called by the Financial investigative division of the CID for evidence gathering. In the midst of all this we are activating over a forty trade fairs globally on "Sales Push" whilst on the “Demand Pull" we are working on the areas of visiting journalist programs, trade FAMs, below the line activations and specific marketing initiatives. But what we need in innovative promotion strategies and I am happy that the new board appointed by the Hon Minister is open to these ideas said Athukorala.
The Board representative for The Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) Ms Amal Goonetileka who is also the Regional Director- sales for Taj Samudra Hotels said “ We are happy to inform that the SLTPB has now formulated a broad Strategic Marketing Plan- 2015 for the destination with the approval of the THASL representatives in the board. This will be reviewed from time to time and new initiatives which will be of benefit to the tourism industry will be added where necessary going forward.” SLITO President Mahen Kariyawasam commented the Private sector in Tourism is pleased to note that the above plan is in the activation process already given the limited resources available at the SLTPB .We the Industry is also happy to note that we are also consulted in these strategic plans for the development of Sri Lanka Tourism. Let’s work to together to achieve our target of 2.5 Million Tourists in the years to come.
One of the biggest challenges of the industry is that registered hotel properties are below four hundred but private sector hotel booking companies say that there over 2600 entities operating this space which means the SME sector is quite large. The perennial issue in any industry is the focus on the large enterprises and focus to the SME sector and which one will give the highest incremental business. The Chairman Athukorala mentioned that with the increased FIT segment going up to almost forty percent in some markets the importance of the digital strategy comes to play. With digital from google to trip advisor every business entity begins to benefit. We must now keep developing in this he said.
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