According to the Bureau, Sri Lanka Tourism has formulated a broad Strategic Marketing Plan for year 2016, with the participation of private and public sector stakeholders addressing long standing needs of the industry and the future expectations of the country as a tourism destination.
The new strategy was refined for its contents to maximize the benefits to the tourism industry and to position Sri Lanka as the most sought after travel destination in Asia, the SLTPB said.
In the first eleven months of 2015, Sri Lanka Tourism recorded 1.5 million tourist arrivals with an 18.1 percent growth in arrivals generating total revenues of US$ 2.2 billion.
At this backdrop, the tourism promotional plan of year 2016 is formulated based on five key strategic objectives. Attracting a target number of 2.2 million visitors with 26% annual growth, increasing average daily expenditure of a tourist up to US$ 200 and average stay, contributing to generate a total tourism revenue up to US$ 2.75 billion will be the key performance measures.
Uplifting Sri Lanka's brand value up to US$ 80 million through tactical marketing campaigns focusing on main product offerings of the county will serve as the overall goal of the promotional strategy devised for 2016.
During the year 2016 Sri Lanka will host the largest ever French travel agent's congress SNAV, by attracting 600 travel agents from France to the country. The congress will provide huge exposure for the destination in Europe, especially in French speaking countries. Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to promote the country as a destination for MICE travel and leisure travellers by proving its capacity to host events of this capacity.
Sri Lanka has also won the host country status for PATA 2017 which provide similar exposure to the destination. The bidding process will continue to attract more congresses, incentive travellers and events with the objective of making Sri Lanka the MICE hub of Asia. The government of Sri Lanka has provided special concessions to MICE travel development which is an encouraging factor to invest in this sector.
The new tourism strategic marketing plan of 2016 will focus on the long term result oriented approach to develop tourism industry in Sri Lanka than serving short term goals. Supported by the strong presence of the newly appointed Tourism Advisory Committee, Prime Minister, Board of Directors, Chairman, Tourism Minister and Deputy Minister and the Ministry Secretary, it is aimed at laying the foundation for a far sighted tourism development strategy based on the industry inputs garnered from decades of experience, analysing research findings and country's competitive position while being attuned to constant challenges faced by socio-political and cultural environment in the world tourism landscape.