Sri Lanka Tourism and SriLankan Airlines in joint effort to woo more visitors from August
Sri Lanka Tourism and the country’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines have reportedly partnered to attract more visitors from August with the launch of a ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ offer.
“We are currently working with SriLankan Airlines and the tourism industry to launch a buy-one-get-one-free offer mid-August in several key markets. We are planning to start the promotion immediately with Germany and the Middle East,” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando has told the Daily FT.
She has said the same promotions will be introduced in other key markets such as the UK, France, Australia, India and China once the outbound and inbound travel restrictions are lifted.
SriLankan Airlines has reportedly identified 18 countries to roll out this promotion in, namely the UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and the Maldives.
The national carrier will launch the buy-one-get-one-free for all destinations, excluding Russia, for foreign passport holders gradually from August depending on travel restrictions.
Fernando has further said that Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) offer great promise.
“The CIS market is a low hanging fruit, as they have no travel restrictions and have limited warm weather destination options currently,” she has said, adding that the direct weekly SriLankan Airlines flight from August would be an ideal opportunity.
Fernando has further noted that a digital advertising campaign had been approved and agency selection process via Sri Lanka Tourism mission had begun. “As part of the global campaign, the tender process has already started to secure a destination representation company in Russia to conduct extensive promotions.”
In terms of new market prospects, the Sri Lanka Tourism Chief has observed that Sri Lankan diaspora visiting family and friends was also an opportunity, particularly from the US, where citizens were permitted to freely travel.
Fernando also said Air France – the French flag carrier – planning to fly to Sri Lanka from November was a very positive development.
“France is a key market for us and in June it was the largest source market for us with 654, largely due to the tour of French naval personnel and officers.”
The news report has stated that SriLankan Airlines is lending strategic support via the offer in the national interest and to revive the tourism sector faster.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic that brought about global travel restrictions. However, tourist arrivals to the country have seen a steady growth since the re-opening of the country’s borders early this year. Sri Lanka has been listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and the country’s tourism authorities have also carried our multiple promotional campaigns that have benefited the industry. Also, the safety and hygiene certifications received by Sri Lanka’s airports have made the island an attractive destination in post Covid travel. With Sri Lanka fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region, travellers to the country have seen an increase. This has resulted in several international hospitality brands expressing interest in entering the country. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in new tourism concepts.
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