By Imsha Iqbal
The global tourism promotional campaign of Sri Lanka Tourism, which would carry the tagline “So Sri Lanka”, was halted pending the final decision of the Cabinet-appointed procurement committee, The Sunday Morning Business learns.
Speaking to us, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General (DG) Dhammika Wijesinghe stated that the Cabinet-appointed procurement committee has not yet informed them of its decision on the global tourism campaign.
The DG said: “The recommendations of the Cabinet-appointed procurement committee do not contain its decision,” implying that the aforementioned global tourism campaign would be resumed in accordance with the committee’s recommendations.
This global campaign has been, thus far, delayed for five to seven years, under two consecutive governments, and further bore the impact of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks and the prevailing pandemic outbreak. The campaign was later scheduled to be launched in the month of January 2021, however, it was delayed further since the relevant authority was concerned about reopening Sri Lanka to tourists.
Responding to our inquiry about the date the campaign will be launched, Wijesinghe said: “It is difficult for me to say, because I’m a member of that (the promotion campaign), but the Tourism Promotion Bureau handles this procurement committee,” thereby indicating that the date of the launch is in the hands of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).
With regards to the tender, she said that the tender is expected to be finalised by the committee. Therefore, the tender would be also proceeded with following the decision taken by this Cabinet-appointed committee.
On an earlier occasion, speaking to The Morning Business, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Secretary S. Hettiarachchi said: “The country’s reopening to tourists too has been pushed back again. Even if the country is opened, it is going to take time for tourist arrivals to get back to their normal levels. At a time like this, launching the campaign would not reap the desired benefits,” elaborating that in expecting the best out of this campaign, tourism arrivals play an absolutely crucial role.
Nonetheless, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) reopened on 1 June and accepted tourists excluding passengers from India or Vietnam or with a travel history to the mentioned two countries within 14 days prior to arrival, due to the discovery of a contagious variant of the virus.
According to SLTDA sources, The Sunday Morning Business learnt that the said campaign is aimed at bringing in six million tourists by 2025 to the country, and while the campaign received the approval of the Treasury, the total cost of it is yet to be revealed. Prior to compiling the campaign, the SLTDA analysed tourism data from the past five years and divided the campaign into three segments: Mature Markets, Eastern and Middle Eastern Markets, and New Markets.
Original Article: https://www.themorning.lk/global-tourism-promotion-campaign-campaign-halted-pending-committee-nod/