Sri Lanka will launch the long-delayed six-month digital marketing campaign in top source markets in Europe—the United Kingdom, Germany and France—from end of August, after the Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday approved the Cabinet paper presented by Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga, to award the contracts to the selected marketing agencies.
Digital Supreme Limited won the bid to carry out the digital marketing campaign in the United Kingdom at US $ 703,480, while Consultations International Holdings AG won the bid to carry out the promotion campaign in Germany for US $ 697,770.92.
Interface Tourism won the bid to carry out the digital marketing campaign in France for US $ 706,460.
However, the digital marketing campaigns in India and China are likely to get slightly delayed as two bidders had objected to the final selection of bidders in these markets.
Speaking to Mirror Business, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramanium said the appeal hearing with regards to the two bids was held last Friday with the presence of all stakeholders and the Cabinet of Ministers and the Tourism Ministry would be shortly be informed of the final decision of the appeal board.
Meanwhile, Amaratunga had also presented another proposal to extend the three-month tourism promotion campaign on CNN by another 45 days, which went live late May.
However, the industry sources said that only after a formal review of the success of the current campaign, the SLTPB board would consider the proposal, which would likely to take some time.
Amaratunga said the SLTPB is also planning to launch promotional campaigns on BBC, CCTV, NDTV and Al-Jazeera, targeting the United Kingdom, China, India and Middle Eastern markets.
The three European countries accounted for 22.5 percent of tourist arrivals up to July this year. Sri Lanka has attracted 149,835 tourists from the United Kingdom, 91,113 from Germany and 70,033 from France up to July.
Amaratunga recently announced that Sri Lanka plans to attract 3-3.5 million tourists next year. The island has attracted little over 1.38 million tourists during the first seven months of the year, up 13.7 percent year-on-year. (NF)