'Get Sri Lankaned' campaign in Mumbai

By Leanne Zara Rodrigues | Mumbai

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has announced that its second mega joint promotional campaign, 'Get Sri Lankaned', will be held in Mumbai from May 17-20, 2013. The campaign, which aims to showcase Sri Lanka as a tourist destination for Indians, was first held in Bengaluru earlier this year. The announcement was made by Bashwara Gunarathna, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism, along with Muthu Sivalingam, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Government of Sri Lanka and Sanath Jayasuriya, Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka and Brand Ambassador of Sri Lanka Tourism, at a press conference. The campaign is scheduled to cross over to Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi and Ahmedabad in the next few months. Get Sri Lankaned will begin with a press conference and will be followed by 'Sri Lanka Night', which will see participation from Indian film and sports celebrities, and will include a Sri Lankan Cultural Show and food festival.

Sri Lanka Tourism, under the Ministry of Economic Development, will organise the campaign in partnership with state associate partners such as SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Cricket, Sri Lanka Tea Board, National Gem & Jewellery Authority, Sri Lanka Export Development Board, National Film Corporation Of Sri Lanka, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, and The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. Associate partners for the campaign include Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators, and Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka.

Gunarathna said, “India is a priority market in terms of tourism and one of the key potential markets consisting vast opportunities for growth in the sector. Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination, featuring a range of attractions. Pristine beaches of Hikkaduwa, Benthota, Arugum Bay, Nillawalli and Pasikuda, notable sights like Adams Peak, Sigiriya, Mahaweli Ganga and St Claire’s waterfall, World Heritage Sites like Naka Vihara, Cenotaph War Memorial and the National War Memorial are a few must-visits in the country." The Bureau is looking at setting up a tourism office in India by September 2013 to help tap the leisure segment, said Gunarathna.

"Last year we saw a total of 170,000 Indian tourist arrivals, which is the biggest number from a single country. With the promotion of the Get Sri Lankaned campaign across various cities in India, we are looking at increasing these arrivals to 400,000 by 2016, thus helping Sri Lanka achieve its goal of 2.5 million visitors by 2016,” he added.

Working in tandem with the travel trade, the campaign will feature an array of activities, including media briefings, 'Sri Lankan Evenings' with fashion shows, Sri Lankan food festivals, B2B meetings, and travel and investment forums between the travel trade of the two countries.

“Sri Lanka makes for an ideal destination for Indian travellers due to factors such as proximity and nearly 100 flights of SriLankan Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India travel between the two countries. SriLankan Airlines operates in eight Indian cities, offering easy connectivity,” said Gunarathna.