SLTA Launches Destination Marketing Campaign 2022

The Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance (SLTA) has launched a Destination Marketing campaign to drive winter bookings and increase the visibility of the country through a number of different mechanisms.

This is a critical requirement as, despite the lifting of most advisories, the return to stability is not being communicated to consumers in key markets, who believe Sri Lanka is not ready for tourists. The current demand for travel to Sri Lanka is very low whereas overall global travel demand is at an all time high.

The campaign is primarily digital, covering the entire spectrum of the travel purchase decision, emulating best practices of successful tourism destinations. Potential travelers to Sri Lanka are the primary target group with the UK, France,  Germany & Spain initially targeted followed by the UAE/GCC.

A consumer campaign on multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Google Display Network, and YouTube video pre-roll advertisements will run over the next three months. The campaign theme is ‘Fall in Love Again’, tied into the Tourism Alliance’s original theme of ‘Love Sri Lanka’. Content will be refreshed on a regular basis with key elements unique to Sri  Lanka.

Additionally, the Alliance will launch a “#100 Reasons to Love Sri Lanka’ campaign on social channels with a separate reason each day. The campaign will focus on varying elements catering to different audiences, such as hiking, surfing, tea, wildlife, cuisine, and more. Each post will be tagged with a topic such as #lovesurfing, in order to target different audiences and niches that may be considering Sri Lanka.

Given the negative coverage that Sri Lanka has received and continues to receive, the Tourism Alliance created a portal of information that is regularly updated at Love Sri Lanka’s website. This page has been optimized for keywords related to ‘Is Sri Lanka Safe?’ as this is one of the main concerns of guests who are considering traveling  to Sri Lanka. The page also contains a section on stories from travelers, to further enhance confidence through third-party messaging.

The Love Sri Lanka website, which has no affiliation to any brand, has information that will assist a traveler in understanding what the country has to offer. Varied destinations, experiences and more are listed on the website, with a significant amount of content to  be added shortly. This has proven to be extremely useful for potential guests, based on feed back received from travelers. The website has been optimized for search and has implemented a strategy of targeting a variety of keywords relevant to Sri Lanka.

The Tourism Alliance has also strategically partnered with a number of local and global brands with the goal of increasing visibility for the country through such collaborative content driven initiatives. Videos focused on key topics will be released in the coming months, shareable content is a critical requirement to increase visibility for consumers and provide a more comprehensive overview of the current situation.

Several PR initiatives are also in progress with members who have representation in key markets working together in order to profile the destination. This is currently in progress in countries such as the UK, Spain, India, and Germany among others.

The impact of the travel trade overseas is significant, and in order to bolster confidence in the country, members of the Alliance have held collaborative webinars in key markets, while strategic roadshows are also being planned, based on the ROI of each event.

Malik Fernando, Chairman of the Tourism Alliance states “Thanks to the excellent winter season after Covid-19, Sri Lanka created such wonderful memories and word-of-mouth recommendations, that promised to make the upcoming winter even better. The economic crisis put paid to that but with the return of stability we still have an opportunity for a decent season if only we urgently communicate the correct situation to consumers in key source markets”

All initiatives carried out are open to all members of the Tourism Alliance and all tourism stakeholders are invited to join the campaigns with the goal of increasing visibility for Sri Lanka, and enhancing the image of the nation to  global audiences.

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