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Published on : Friday, March 8, 2013
The first ever Sri Lanka’s mega promotion, with joint efforts from Public and Private sectors, has been initiated under the advice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa held from 21st to 24th of February in Bangalore, India. This is a joint effort of the key government institutions and private sector organizations. The campaign which was launched on the 21st of February in Bangalore, India saw its successful end on Sunday the 24th of February. This campaign, held in Bangalore, was organized under the guidance of Basil Rajapaksa, the Minister of Economic Development.
Having identified India, Japan, China, Korea and Russia as emerging markets, the SLTPB executed a new series of promotional activities incorporating the new strategies of the government to expand the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.
“Get Sri Lankaned”, was the first ever joint promotional campaign launched under the aforesaid new promotional activities. The Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development Dr. P. B. Jayasundera has played a crucial role in the process of this Three Day Joint Promotion Campaign. The active role of the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Mr.Bhashwara Gunarathna and the Managing Director of SLTPB Mr.Rumy Jauffer in organizing this campaign resulted in making it a success.
The first event in the schedule was Sri Lankan Night held on 21st of February 2013. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) appointed the Cricketing Legend and the Member of Parliament Sanath Jayasuriya as the Tourism Ambassador of Sri Lanka during the “Sri Lankan Night”. Accordingly, Sanath Jayasuriya was given a plaque by Muthu Sivalingam, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development.
The “Sri Lankan Night”, which was the first promotional programme under “Get Sri Lankaned” held at Vivanta By Taj Hotel Bangalore. As per this appointment made by Sri Lanka Tourism under the advice of Basil Rajapaksa, the former Sri Lankan Cricket star will function as a Tourist Ambassador in future, with the view to promote Sri Lanka as a renowned destination internationally. High profile politicians representing from Bangalore were also among the splendid guests at this event, which included the celebrities like Actors Ambareesh and Sudeep. The event was also graced by the participation of other Sri Lankan cricketing stars including the World Champion skipper Arjuna Ranthunga. Moreover, over 300 leading businessmen and the tour operators/airlines in India also took part in the event. Representing Sri Lanka, H.E Prasad Kariyawasam – Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Dr. Ameer Ajward, Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai, Dr. Willie Gamage – Secretary to the Ministry of Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation, Mr. Bashwara Gunarathna – Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism, Mr.Anil Koswattha – Chairman, Sri Lanka Handicraft Board, Mr. Rumy Jauffer, the Managing Director of SLTPB and Mr. Nishantha Ranathunga – Secretary, Sri Lanka Cricket Board participated in this event.
“Get Sri Lankaned” night was colorful with Fashion and cultural shows which reflected the unique Sri Lankan identity and the participants in the event were truly entertained.
On the second day of the campaign (22nd Feb.), the participants got the opportunity to attend business meetings arranged at Vivantha by Taj Hotel in Bangalore. Over 150 professionals working in the Indian tourism and trade industry attended these meetings. It was a great opportunity for those in Sri Lankan travel and trade industry to build up links that would help their respective industries.
On the very same day there was a shopping mall activation event held at the Garuda Mall, Bangalore. In association with Sri Lankan Airlines and Jet Airways, SLTPB offered free tour packages to Indians who were the winners of over 50 game shows and raffle draws organized by the SLTPB.
On the 23rd Famous cricket stars Kumar Sangakkara attended the shopping mall activation event. The SLTPB took this as an opportunity to convince many of their fans in attendance that Si Lanka is an ideal tourist destination. The famous and stunning Bollywood Jacqueline Fernandez also graced the occasion with her presence. It added a lot of colour to the event and she received very positive responses from the crowd. Her attendance has also helped make the shopping mall activation program a success.
Commenting on the campaign, Jacqueline said “Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The best thing with this island is the kindness and friendliness of its people. Its people are dedicated to hospitality and this quality will enable them to boost their thriving industry of tourism. At present, many tourists are travelling from India to Sri Lanka and with the programmes like “Get Sri Lankaned”, Sri Lanka will able to promote its product further among the Indian nationals.
Sri Lanka Tourism, under the Ministry of Economic Development, has organized this event in partnership with state associate partners such as Export Development Board, Sri Lankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Cricket, Sri Lanka Tea Board, National Gem and Jewellery Authority, SriLanka Convention Bureau, Sri Lanka Handy Craft Board (Laksala), and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. Taj Hotels and Palaces, Sri Dalada Maligawa, Tourists Hotel Association Of Sri Lanka(THASL), Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators(SLAITO), Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) , Edna Group, Ceylon Biscuits Limited, Avirate, Dankotuwa porcelain, Spa Ceylon, Noritake, Prasanna Bathik, Dilmah Tea, Siddhalepa, Stone & String, Jet Airways, Divulapitiya Handlooms, join as the associated partners for this joint promotion campaign. Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India H.E Prasad Kariyawasam, the Deputy High commissioner in Chennai and Dr.K.Sudakar Honorary Consul in Bangalore have also assisted in organizing this joint promotion campaign in India. Sri Lanka welcomed 176,340 Indian tourists in 2012; the biggest number arrived from a single country. SLTPB is also expecting to attract 400,000 Indian tourists by the year 2016, thus helping to reach Sri Lanka’s goal of 2.5 million visitors by the year 2016.