Sri Lanka’s Tourism Ministry has launched a new travel campaign to promote the island as a ‘year round’ tourist destination in order to boost arrivals during the lean months, local media reported Wednesday.
Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga said that the campaign titled ‘Island Escapes’, was launched with an investment of Rs. 65 million (an estimated 400,000 US dollars) and with the active participation of 33 industry stakeholders.
The campaign will be operational from September to November and April to June in order to increase arrivals.
Under the campaign, tourists will be offered attractive packages and Colombo city hotels will be encouraged to give rooms at prices below the contentious floor rate, thus driving up occupancy and profits.
Citing countries within the region that had initiated such a campaign with fruitful outcomes, Amaratunga expressed confidence that ‘Island Escapes’ would also be successful.
“We have seen countries like Singapore and Dubai do these kind of programs very successfully and based on the success of the campaign we will fine-tune it next year,” the Minister said.
“I hope by November we will be able to increase our numbers to 2.5 million to 3 million. We will experiment. We will see what gains the country will receive from this. I am quite confident that these types of initiatives will be successful,” the Minister added.
Over 1.5 million tourists have arrived in Sri Lanka between January to August this year out of which over 190,000 arrivals were from China.