By Nishel Fernando
The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday decided to award the US $ 2 million contract to develop a new brand identity and strategy for Sri Lanka tourism to J. Walter Thompson (JWT) within a period of six months, a top minister told Mirror Business.
Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said the Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday approved the proposal presented by him to award the US $ 2 million contract to JWT.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Dehan Seneviratne said the new brand identity will be launched at the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London in November and the country strategy would be completed within a period of six months.
“There is a certain level of publicity going on for promoting the new brand along with some of the footages we already have and with some of the footages that were been created, until the global promotion campaign kicks off,” he said.
Speaking of the progress of preparations for a three-year global promotion campaign, Seneviratne was confident that the SLTPB will be able to launch a campaign within six months at ITB Berlin in March 2019.
The SLTPB in an earlier occasion said they were planning to spend around US $ 40-60 million for the three-year destination marketing plan.
Meanwhile, the SLTPB has awarded the contracts to selected digital media agencies to launch the US $ 3.5 million digital campaign in five key source markets: China, India, the UK, Germany and France.
The six-month digital market campaign is expected to be launched by the end of next week.
Seneviratne noted that the agencies have completed the preparation of content, to kick off the campaign.
In addition, the Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry also plans to extend the CNN advertising campaign by another two months.
Sri Lanka plans to lure 4.5 million tourists to the country by 2020. The island nation has attracted 1.73 million tourists at end-September this year and expects to attract three million tourists by end of this year.