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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Sri Lanka Tourism gears up for post conflict strategies

Colombo, 28 April, ( The conflict with the LTTE which has affected the north of the country for over two decades is rapidly nearing its end. When the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse assumed office in 2005, the LTTE had over 16,000 square kilometres under its control. Within two and a half years since the recommencement of the conflict in mid 2006, the government has managed to take control of the LTTE strongholds in the north-east of Sri Lanka, restricting them to a narrow 8 kilometer strip in the north- east of the country.

The President of Sri Lanka visited the eastern province last year and more recently the Killonochchi last week- the LTTE‘s once self proclaimed head quarters. Subsequently the armed forces achieved victory this week by rescuing over one hundred thousand civilians, who were used as human shields by the LTTE in the 8 kilo meter strip. The battle between the Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE is nearing its end paving the way for the long awaited peace and development in those areas.

Against this backdrop, Sri Lanka Tourism is gearing up for a post conflict strategy focusing on the development of the tourist potential in the north-east. A high level delegation headed by the deputy minister of tourism visited the east of Sri Lanka recently as a continuous policy of tourism promotion in the area. The development of the east is of specific focus for the government as the beaches in the east are one of the best in the island, while Arugam Bay is famous as one of the best surfing destinations in the world. Sri Lanka Tourism is also making arrangements for development of other locations such as Passikudah and Trincomalee, which have excellent beaches for recreation.

Meanwhile, the new brand of Sri Lanka Tourism will be launched in June along with a well planned communication campaign. Sri Lanka Tourism is also looking at promotional activities with hotels and the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, aimed at primary markets such as France, Germany, and UK for the summer, which is a tactical offer introduced to those markets.

A post card campaign will be launched, where 250,000 post cards will be distributed among visitors while a discount booklet will also be simultaneously distributed with over 50 discount offers from a range of hotels, shopping malls etc.

The domestic tourism component, which was launched under the ‘Narambamu Sri Lanka’ campaign has brought about positive results and Sri Lanka Tourism would launched an advertising campaign targeting the local market in order to increase occupancy levels as well as create awareness on ‘off the beaten track’ locations of interest in the country. Sri Lanka Tourism has created a separate Events Strategy for Sri Lanka Tourism, where a large number of events have been created in order to attract more tourists to the country. Consequently there will be several exciting events coming up this year including the
Hikkaduwa Beach Fest, Negombo Beach Fest, the Jazz Festival, Tea Festival, and the Kandy Festival.

As the conflict is drawing to an end in the north, there is a sense of relief among all citizens that peace, prosperity and development is close at hand.

- Asian Tribune -

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