Tourism Hotline: 1912

Tourism Promotions Bureau Depoliticized - will work strongly with private sector !

( Posted on June 24, 2015 )

    - 29 career marketing professionals appointed 

    - Global advertising agency needs to be appointed

    - New PR agencies on a 2 year contract to be appointed

    - Professional digital company sought



" The private sector must have patients for another 3-4 months given that we have waited 6 years " 


                                                          - Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau


The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau that has been dogged with financial misappropriation to the value of 750 million rupees from the earlier regime that cut across through political pressure has been given a new life by the appointment of 29 top professionals purely on merit under the direction of Honorable Minister Navin Dissanayake said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala when he addressed the new Ambassador and High Commissioner appointees to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at The Banadaranayake Center for International Studies at BMICH.



Tourism Chairman addressing the newly appointed Ambassadors and High Commissioners


Athukorala said " only once the new ad agency, PR agencies- market wise, Digital Marketing company are been selected under the Government procurement process adhered, that we can practice professional destination marketing" Currently we are are like going for war without the proper armory. Just attending trade fairs, inviting journalists and initiating travel agents to come to Sri Lanka might generate the numbers but it does not build imagery and brand equity in the targeted travellers. There must be a healthy balance between the Push and Pull said Athukorala. We are just skewed to Push for the last four months. To be honest, I feel sad for Sri Lanka Tourism where the private sector has invested billions of rupees on infrastructure whilst global brand building has not happened in a balanced manner but that the reality. But I commit to you that I will make the Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau the best destination marketing unit in the world. 



The Audience at the Ambassadors Orientation Programme held at BMICH

On a question posed on the developed of a new market like China in the previous regime The Chairman acknowledged the good work done but the unpaid bills and poor governance has taken away the shine off the good work. Last Saturday we had suppliers banging the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing on payments due. We are now trying to reconcile the situation and neutralize it before the world’s Largest Travel a Fair- BITE begins in Beijing next week. There is a threat that a banner will be put by the suppliers who are demanding their dues he said.



The Audience at the Ambassadors Orientation Programme held at BMICH

It is amidst all this chaos, I salute the current Market Heads at SLTPB that are driving the "Push Strategy" in the current markets. I commend the work they do and what they have done for last couple of years. It's not easy working without a permanent Finance Director given that the previous had its passport impounded due to governance and contract renewal not taking place. But the good news is that we have selected one of the top officials from the Ministry of a Finance for this purpose and I see light at the end if the tunnel voiced Athukorala.



The Audience at the Ambassadors Orientation Programme held at BMICH

I together with the Board of Directors will make Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau one of the best destination marketing government entities globally committed Athukorala. But the private sector must have patience for another 3 months given that it has waited 6 years for the current private sector savvy operating model.

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