Sri Lanka Tourism organized a series of roadshowsin four German cities this year as the second step of a promotional campaign which started in 2015, to showcase the country as a unique tourist destination.
In 2015, the first step of the roadshows was held at six most populated German cities including Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Berlin. This year, the second series were held at Cologne, Dortmund, Hannover and Bremen, and this promotional activity started on the week starting from 12th to 15th September.The events conducted in aforementioned metro cities were followed by B2B meetings with the Sri Lanka Trade delegation, bringing the travel industry stakeholders into one platform.
The events were graced by Sri Lanka Ambassador for Germany Karunasena Hettiarachchi. The distinguished guests included Dortmund and Cologne Consul Juergen Weerth, Hannover ConsulClaus Holtmann and representing the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Bremen and Lower Saxony, Klaus Kriwat. The promotional campaigns were further honoured by the presence of senior German state officials including Ralf Pospich, from the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Transport of Niedersachsen, Ulrike Hiller, State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and Development Cooperation, and Kerstin Lührßen- Deputy Chief Protocol of Bremen. Nihal Samarasinghe, Consultant to the Minister of tourism also attended the event held in Dortmund.
The roadshows were organized to promote Sri Lanka as the preferred Asian destination to the Germans. The events were participated by German outbound tour operators and travel agents.Thus, the events proved to be a good opportunity to facilitate new business partnerships with the German counterparts.During the promotional campaign, Sri Lanka Ambassador for Germany Karunasena Hettiarachchi expressed his views on the long standing relationships between the two governments.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam, by making a destination presentation, highlighted the diversity, authenticity and compactness to position Sri Lanka in the minds of the German participants as a unique destination in Asia. The positive comments which were made by several German participants at the roadshow proved the fact how Sri Lanka has become a popular tourist destination across the globe.The German counterparts were excited to see the colorful attractions depicting cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes and the diversity, which encouraged them to explore the destination.
During the promotional campaign, Sri Lanka Tourism was able to receive positive feedback from the German counterparts. The overall rating given for events, highlighted a positive impact while the suggestions included more improvement on promotional activities.
Holtmann gave an excellent and a picturesque overview of Sri Lanka as a compact, versatile and manifold island at the roadshow: “I have been to Sri Lanka several times with my family. The screen saver on my laptop changes every time you open it. One morning, a picture of a whale comes up, then a beautiful landscape, a beach or monument of Sri Lanka.
I can only underline what you have just seen in the presentation. Sri Lanka is so versatile, compact and manifold.”
Ulrike Hiller specifically mentioned that both nations have the same aims in promoting tourism. He further mentioned that he was glad Sri Lanka had developed so well and become a safe destination and is able to present its beautiful features in the world.
BCD Travel representative Jürgen Becker recommended Sri Lanka as an ideal travel destination: “After travelling to Sri Lanka in the 1980s, I am quite excited to go back next year and explore the changes in the country.
But after my experience back then it is recommendable at any rate. We also do a lot of business travel to Sri Lanka because we have got lots of clients who work in the textile industry.” Lam- Kann Naichun, a representative from the Pacific Travel, expressed his ideas on the compactness of Sri Lanka as a characteristic of a perfect travel destination, when compared with the other countries in the Asian region: “We are dealing with lot of tourism to India and do not sell many trips to Sri Lanka yet. Sri Lanka is very compact and a tourist can do many different things in one day.
Tourists could just travel by car, bus or train and see a cultural highlight and the beach in one day. In addition, Sri Lanka is still a lot more affordable than most Asian countries.” Apart from these remarks,the representatives of the Sri Lankan travel associations had given their input for further improvement of the industry.
This promotional campaign which was carried out by Sri Lanka Tourism not only enabled to create a positive impact among the German counterparts but also generated an interest to the Sri Lankan tourism sector, enabling Sri Lanka to become one of the most sought after destinations across the