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Monday, September 21, 2015

Sri Lanka Tourism to highlight Esala Perahera at Japan JATA World Expo 2015

  • Some call it a must visit in one’s life time 
  • We must now tell this story to the world

 JATA Tourism EXPO 2015 Japan, internationally recognized as one of the largest travel events in the world which presents Japan as a tourism nation to the world that not only attracts the leisure sector but also other industries will take place on the 25th of September 2015 in Tokyo. The Sri Lanka as a country which has highest number of celebrations in a country will highlight one of the most colorful and grandest Buddhist festival in the country is known as the Esela Perahera at JATA Tourism Expo 2015. The Sri Lankan contingent of 26 key industry tourism professionals who will represent the country that has recorded a flat arrival growth as at end August 2015 with 25,973 visitors. We must now focus correct the market to attract a fifty thousand by end Mid year 2016 said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Dr. Rohantha Athukorala. More popularly known at JATA it is considered one of the ideal forums to showcase varied destinations and for for travel professionals to exchange travel information and conduct one-to-one business meetings, while inspiring consumers said the official website of JATA 2015.
                        The 2015 edition is said to attract150 countries and regions and has the potential to directly interact with the 150, 000 visitors said the conference organizer which is why Sri Lanka is taking a unique positioning said Dr Athukorala. We will show case the Kandy ‘Esala Perahera’ recorded as one of the oldest parades in the world is held yearly and believed to commemorate the first teaching given by Lord Buddha after he attained enlightenment.  This years edition saw 153 of elephants and tuskers that were robed, illuminated and parade the streets in discipline leaving any spectator awestruck. Elephants- one of Sri Lanka’s Big five mammals; majestic gentle who add nothing but splendor to this grand festival. The show stopper of the parade is theTusker who walks in supreme grace and great pride carrying the glorious golden casket called the ‘Karaduwa’ sheltered with a canopy which contains the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. The musicians, dancers and all participants of the parade are those taking over their duties fromgeneration after generation. Families are bound by their faith and dedication to participate in this event year after year despite their residence and other career obligations said The communique from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau. We now need to tell this wonderful story to the world said Chairman Dr Athukorala.  The 2015 edition attracted around 15,000 visitors with over 25 media teams covering the perahera. A live feed of the event was transmitted to over 52 countries through the Asian Sat 5 satellite. The Kandy Dalada Maligawa, the Governing body for the perahera and the temple in which the sacred tooth relic is kept, had a live stream of the event on their official website as well as youtube and all other social media said Athukorala aiming to replicate the marketing model in Japan.

Monday, September 7, 2015

SL Tourism Competition

  • - 54 million trip advisor reviews and 23.2 million google searches last year 
  • - 20 lucky winners to get a18 plus days holiday in Sri Lanka

 “Given the research insights that 23.2 million google searched Sri Lanka Tourism and 54 million trip advised, Sri Lanka tourism gives an indication of the importance of online communication in the decision making process of a potential traveller” said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Dr. Rohantha Athukorala at the launch of the global online video competition " 365 days holiday" which will avail twenty lucky winners to receive a 18 plus days all-inclusive holiday in Sri Lanka. The power of armature videos hosted on the internet has now become a major influence for traveller behavior was the insight that led Sri Lanka Tourism for launching the global video competition under the theme " 365 days holiday in Sri Lanka".  The competition will feature the best 20 entries that are hosted will receive a fully expense paid vacation of 18 plus day holiday in Sri Lanka. This complimentary holiday package includes a business class return ticket, hotel stay with free entry to all key cultural and heritage sites sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism. Sri Lanka was recently ranked as a top 22 destinations to visit in 2015 by respected US power media New York Times in its comprehensive list of top 52 places to go in 2015 . The list comprises of top and most popular cities and countries around the globe. New York Times have identified Sri Lanka as a country which is genuinely stable and also a nation which has the best diversity of attractions around the works that can be experienced in the shortest possible times which happens to be the DNA of Sri Lanka voiced Dr.Athukorala.  However New York Times points out on the luxurious accommodation facilities of Sri Lanka as well as the creativity of these facilities needs stronger communication which have the logic for the launch of global on line video competition. The competition will have a four month entry duration from September to December 2015 with the winners invited to the country during the period February- June 2016 said the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Assistant Director Harshika Abeynayake.    Sri Lanka's commercial capital Colombo, was earlier ranked the highest growth city on tourist arrivals by Master Card Traveller. This accolade beats China's emerging city Chengdu to second place whilst visitor arrivals crossed a million guests by the end of July at a growth of 32.1%.  As at end July 2015, in just four months, the sector crossed the 1 billion dollar earnings said Chairman Athukorala. We must now drive on- line presence and the "365 day holiday" promotion is only the beginning of the game plan he said.

Sri Lanka Tourism, Tea board and Sri Lankan Airlines quest for Guinness Record

Sri Lanka Tourism, Tea board and Sri Lankan Airlines quest for Guinness Record         

  •  - 3000 kilograms of black tea to be plucked            
  • - 35,000 cups of tea to be served at Esala Perahera            
  • - Guinness Record attempt to be featured at global travel fairs           
  • - New Global advertising campaign in the making

                 In the unique partnership between the key agencies that take Sri Lanka to the world- tourism, tea and Sri Lankan will spruce the current $61 billion dollar nation brand to achieve the targeted $80 billion dollars. The event grounded on the concept of Ceylon Tea will show case to the world on all media (traditional and Online) the Guinness Record initiative by plucking 3000 kilograms of tea at Pedro Estate with the help of 200 foreigners and serving 35,000 cups of tea at the Esala Perahera which will take Sri Lanka into the Global map across the world said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala. This must be supported by the launch of the global branding and promotions campaign on tourism after a lapse of 6 years which is now at 'short list' stage with where top seven global advertising agencies are in the running he emphasized. Sri Lanka Tourism will cross $3 billion dollar net receipts in 2015 and the new advertising campaign will help the Sri Lanka positioning on the proposition of the DNA - diversity, compactness and Authencity which will help the overall objective of attracting the $250 dollar tourists rather than just going after arrivals said Athukorala. The private sector partners to the Guinness record bid are Basilur the global tea brand and household business brand Maliban that will be the new ethos of the government on the Private-Public -People partnership to building brand Sri Lanka he voiced.  Research indicate that when a countries brand value pegs up the quality of investments increase whilst the quality of tourists that it can attract also increase whilst the export market country mix also tends change which is what Sri Lanka needs to do said Athukorala. At the World’s Largest Tea Party Sri Lanka tourism will invitee foreign guests from the key countries of India, china, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Middle East, Australian, Scandinavia and United States to be part of the event which will be linked to social media that takes the story to the key markets so that we get on the " news" of the world. Earlier this month Sri Lanka Tourism launched a unique global competition where the best twenty online videos submitted will get a 365 day holiday whilst a weekly direct mail themed ' message in a bottle" has been touching the key global media, designation marketing companies( DMC's) around the world. In the key markets we do focussed below the activations by way of Road Shows branded “One Island, thousand treasures" whilst also being in person with the private sector in the key travel and trade fairs globally under the theme " 8 wonderful experiences in 8 wonderful days" said Athukorala. We will extend the Guinness Record to the world by way of the ' ceylon tea boutique' concept which is in every exhibition that we take part globally which costs us over a billion rupees annually he said. Sri Lanka has garnered in over a million tourists in just seven months at a growth of 16.8% as at end July 2015 and July spiked to a 31.2% growth in visitors which was interesting given that China became the top source market said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau in the news release. However, the dominance of the informal sector accounting for 49% of the arrivals which is approximately 7.3 million room nights must be addressed as we are launching a 200 million digital marketing campaign with the best online organizations that must help the formal sector that support SLTPB with the funding required for aggressive marketing commented Chairman Athukorala.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Five Aitken Spence Hotels Enter TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

Five Aitken Spence properties from Sri Lanka and the Maldives have entered the prestigious TripAdvisor Hall of Fame having being recognized for its consistent high performance in customer reviews. The world’s largest travel site recognized Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year.
Nine Aitken Spence Resorts received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on the travel review site. In addition to the hotels recognized in the Hall of Fame, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara were awarded Certificates of Excellence for its ability to continuously deliver on a superior customer service experience.  "We have always strived for excellence and have nurtured a reputation of exceeding guest expectations.
 The recognition received by the resorts bear testimony to the exceptional service and memorable experiences that guests receive from our iconic properties. I would like to congratulate the resorts on their achievement and encourage them to maintain the standards set and continue to exceed expectations" said, Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels.  TripAdvisor enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip and offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices. The site’s potential reach is 340 million unique monthly visitors and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.  Aitken Spence Hotels manage a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its premier brand in Sri Lanka, Heritance Hotels & Resorts, operates a portfolio of five unique properties in scenic locations across the island while its award winning properties in the Maldives operate under the brand Adaaran Resorts.