Four local agencies to manage ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign’
By Mario Andree
Sri Lanka Tourism is preparing to appoint a campaign management agency, research agency, digital marketing agency and a creative agency locally to carry out the much awaited and needed ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign’.
According to Sri Lanka Tourism the new normal has made it mandatory for Sri Lanka to launch the campaign to remain competitive in the global tourism market and to capitalise on the first mover advantage.
Following the appointment of local agents for the campaign, Sri Lanka Tourism will appoint eight destination representative companies (DRCs) in eight key markets and eight public relational companies (PRCs) in eight emerging markets.
The 20 agency framework was proposed after much analysis and debate to avoid the gaps and barriers that prevented Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism from implementing such a holistic global communications campaign.
Sri Lanka Tourism has called for tenders for some local appointments and is expected to call for tenders for the international appointments shortly.
Since 2014 there has not been a comprehensive ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign’. There were attempts made to launch this campaign in 2016 and even a few attempts thereafter; however the programme never got off the ground due to financial barriers, bureaucratic obstacles, lack of competency and the lack of a strategic drive.
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the Cabinet approved a proposal for a five-year focused and evidence-based ‘Global Tourism Promotion Campaign.’ But this too was a damp squib and did not see the light of day.
The tourism industry was one of the hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic and for Sri Lanka the hit came on top of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings, which decimated any chances the sector had of revival.