New Strategic Development Plan for Sri Lanka Tourism
Ministry of Economic Development officially launched the Tourism Development Strategy for the next five years period of 2011-2016 at a grand ceremony held yesterday (05th Sep.) at the Cinnamon Lakeside hotel. A large gathering of tourism stakeholders including the industry representatives, diplomats, media and government officials were among those who graced the occasion and the strategy document was officially handed over by Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism to the Economic Development Minister Hon. Basil Rajapaksa who was the chief guest of the event .
According to the newly launched Tourism Development Strategy, the main target of the tourism sector in the next five years is to achieve a target number of 2.5 million tourists by 2016 being in line with the January 2010 visionary statement unveiled by Mahinda Chinthanaya spelling out plans for 2011 tourism development policy including details of Visit Sri Lanka 2011 initiative. The 5 year master plan Strategy document of Economic Development Ministry halfway through refers to 2020 plans as envisaged by Finance Ministry as well.
The 36-page document puts together the expectations set for the development of tourism industry in the said time period covering all aspects of infrastructure development, standardization of products and services, improving the brand awareness and finally gearing all efforts towards achieving sustainability in the long run as booming sector directly contributing a large share to Sri Lanka’s Economic Development. Ministry of Economic Development is implementing the plan at the correct time to drive attention of all stakeholders to contribute to achieve the set goals spelt out in the publication focusing plans and targets until 2020.
The initiatives and policies of the newly launched publication will act as a benchmark for tourism sector for the next five years to come with the stretched goal of preparing the industry to move forward to achieve targets specified up to year 2020.
Addressing the gathering at the event Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman,Dr. Godahewa said in his speech that that the strategy document has clearly put together the expectations of the tourism industry for the next five years, so that all stakeholders could focus and work together to achieve the speicified goals. “Tourism is a people’s industry as it benefits all. This strategy document will help align all to be focused on one direction with a common goal,”Dr. Godahewa said.
With a tag line “Refreshingly Sri Lanka: The Wonder of Asia” and as world’s most treasured island the specific strategies related to the five year plan are, 1) creating an environment conducive for tourism; 2) attracting the right type of tourists; 3) ensuring that departing tourists are happy; 4) improving domestic tourism and 5) contributing towards improving the global image of Sri Lanka. The unique selling propositions of destination Sri Lanka are, 1) authenticity, 2) compactness and 3) diversity.
The document quoting the visit 2011 campaign, says that Sri Lanka Tourism focuses on eight product categories under the theme “8 wonderful experienced in 8 wonderful days” and they are Beaches (Pristine), Sports and Adventure (Thrills), Heritage sites (Heritage), Mind and Body wellness (Bliss), Scenic beauty (Scenic), Wild life and nature (Wild), People and Culture (Essence) and Year round festivals (Festive).
At a time when Sri Lanka Tourism has achieved the target of 500,000 tourists in less than 8 months , the launch of the new tourism development strategy is seen as a welcome sign for the future of Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.(SLTPB)
80,Galle Road, Colombo 03. Sri Lanka.
Tel : 0112426900 (Ext.: 265)