Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts launch ‘One Island, A Thousand Treasures’ move
Daily FT: Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts yesterday launched a unique ‘One Island, A Thousand Treasures’ initiative to let the world rediscover Sri Lanka as a must visit authentic destination.
The novel destination promotion campaign in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism and SriLankan Airlines among others, will unveil the unknown stories behind Sri Lanka and paint a unique picture of culturally relevant stories just waiting to be explored by the world.
Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts Marketing Vice President Dileep Mudadeniya said the aim of the initiative is to play a proactive role to entice global travellers to experience Sri Lanka by showcasing the nation’s unique places, people and experiences beyond the usual sites and excursions. These stories will be promoted via digital platforms to engage an international audience through social media and programmatic digital marketing, to encourage travellers to visit and experience Sri Lanka.
He said that a panel of judges will consider all submissions via video or pictures for three months after which Cinnamon will substantiate same and amplify selected ones to the global stage via network of global travel influencers, website of Cinnamon as well as Sri Lanka tourism thereby using those ideas to woo travellers to the country.
He said selected submissions will qualify to enjoy complimentary stay at resorts, travel overseas via SriLankan Airlines or win vouchers from Keells Super. “We hope to use the selected submissions as Sri Lanka’s emotional selling proposition to global travellers,” Mudadeniya added.
Cinnamon said the ‘One Island, A Thousand Treasures’ initiative targets the creation of new business opportunities for local communities including the revival of local arts and crafts. By promoting the niche, lesser-known experiences, and history of Sri Lanka, not only will the country have more to offer tourists, but it will also help more industry stakeholders – a key objective of the campaign.
Tourism Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi welcomed the Cinnamon initiative saying it will help Sri Lanka’s quest to draw 7 million tourists and achieve $ 10 billion foreign exchange from tourism by 2030. He urged other private sector stakeholders to come up with similar innovative initiatives for which the Government will extend support.
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando described the Cinnamon initiative as timely and fabulous. “Authentic storytelling is 22 times more effective than an advertisement,” she said, adding that cookie cutter type product offerings won’t help Sri Lanka to achieve desired higher goals via tourism. “This initiative is also in line with the people-centric economic development thrust of the Government,” she added.
Creative partner Dentsu Grant Agency Managing Director Neela Marikkar said it is the agency’s project of passion and enables the stakeholders to tell a different story never heard before about Sri Lanka as generation Z and millennial travellers seek authentic experience, deeper connection and engagement with communities.
In that context, Marikkar emphasised: “Sri Lanka has so much to offer” and the Cinnamon initiative ushers in an exciting journey of discovery. “We hope the initiative will enable local communities to take price and ownership of authentic experiences, lure more travellers thereby benefit from the influx,” she added.
Digital content creators can record their discovery and share it with the Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Team via the One Island, A Thousand Treasures website or through Facebook, Instagram or YouTube tagging @CinnamonHotels and #OneIslandThousandTreasures. Upon submission of an authentic Sri Lankan story of a unique place, people or culture, an independent panel of content experts will review each entry.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing industries in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic brought about travel restrictions worldwide. However, the country’s tourism industry is once again on the growth path with a continuously increasing number of tourist arrivals in the country. Sri Lanka has also received much international exposure with many global travel publications identifying the country as a must visit destination as well as listing it as a top 10 island destinations in the country. Local tourism authorities are meanwhile engaged in promotional campaigns targeting key foreign tourist markets while also exploring new tourism concepts as well. All this has resulted in an expansion in business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Many international leisure brands have expressed interest in entering Sri Lanka’s leisure industry through investments amounting millions of dollars. Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry would see the opening of more opportunities with the country fast becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region. With the growth in the business potential of the country’s tourism industry, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s leisure and hospitality sectors.
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