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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2366

Sri Lanka returns to the French Market!

Re-launch Sri Lanka day in Paris at UNESCO – 11 September 2007

Paris, 14 September, (Asiantribune.com): A 12-day evaluation conducted by Sécurité Sans Frontières revealed that the terrorist risk is not that greater in Sri Lanka than other countries visited by the French.

This positive conclusion is welcome change to the position adopted by the travel advisory of the French Foreign Ministry which contributed to a great extent the increasing negative perception of the destination due to the security problems related to the North and East of the country.

Fully aware of its negative image in the French market, Sri Lanka Tourism opted for transparency and requested an independent private French security firm to conduct a security audit related to tourism activities.

The evaluation, conducted over a period of 12 days by Sécurité Sans Frontières (SSF),covered various tourism sites, hotel infrastructures, airport and other forms of transport as well as general conditions of security (political, social, health and weather-related;….). The findings and methodology and the fact, it was performed independently (no complicity) of the audit were revealed to the public on 11 September 2007 at UNESCO.

According to Frédéric Bauer, Président of Sécurité Sans Frontières (SSF, " the in-depth study of the security conditions has permitted us to make specific and detailed technical recommendations. The terrorist risk is not that greater in Sri Lanka than other countries visited by the French …. In conclusion, the security situation for us is acceptable for tourism visits to Sri Lanka and I take responsibility for recommending the destination for French Tourists."

This positive conclusion is welcome change to the position adopted by the travel advisory of the French Foreign Ministry which contributed to a great extent the increasing negative perception of the destination due to the security problems related to the North and East of the country.

The renewal of the French market has become the priority for Sri Lanka !

The mere fact that such a high-powered delegation, coupled with the participation of SLAITO, THAASL and key Sri Lankan receptive agents operating in France, gave a strong signal to the French travel trade that Sri Lanka Tourism is committed to the French market, despitethe fact that the destination was suspended for over 9 months. From left to right Prof. Geoffrey Lipmann, Deputy Secretary General of World Tourism Organization (WTO) Mr. Dileep Mudadeniya, Addl. DG, SLTB, René-Marc Chikli, Président of CETO (french Tour Operators Association), Renton de Alwis, Chairman of the Sri Lanka  Tourist Board. Ruvan de Alwis, director of  Sri Lanka Tourist Board in France, Danny Schepers, Manager of  SriLankan Airlines in France,  Mrs. Chithrangani Wagiswera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in France, Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Tourism in Sri Lanka  The mere fact that such a high-powered delegation, coupled with the participation of SLAITO, THAASL and key Sri Lankan receptive agents operating in France, gave a strong signal to the French travel trade that Sri Lanka Tourism is committed to the French market, despitethe fact that the destination was suspended for over 9 months. From left to right Prof. Geoffrey Lipmann, Deputy Secretary General of World Tourism Organization (WTO) Mr. Dileep Mudadeniya, Addl. DG, SLTB, René-Marc Chikli, Président of CETO (french Tour Operators Association), Renton de Alwis, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Ruvan de Alwis, director of Sri Lanka Tourist Board in France, Danny Schepers, Manager of SriLankan Airlines in France, Mrs. Chithrangani Wagiswera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in France, Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Tourism in Sri Lanka

On the occasion of the Sri Lanka day organized by its Tourist Board office in Paris on 11 September 2007, Sri Lanka's Minister of Tourism, Milinda Moragoda was present, accompanied by the Chairman of the Tourist Board, Mr. Renton de Alwis and the Additional Director-General, Mr. Dileep Mudadeniya in order to introduce new products and the measures taken to re-launch the destination and renew its idenity.

The Sri Lanka day provided an opportunity for the Tourist Board to reveal vital information for the French market.

This positive conclusion is welcome change to the position adopted by the travel advisory of the French Foreign Ministry which contributed to a great extent the increasing negative perception of the destination due to the security problems related to the North and East of the country.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka, selected as host country for World Tourism Day ( 27 September 2007) by the World Tourism Organization, wishes to emphasize this year's theme "Tourism opens Doors for Women". The communication campaign entitled "Men Don't Get It" will be revealed on this occasion
Sri Lanka also announced its projects relating to the consolidation and renewal of its identity.

Beyond its classical products – culture and beaches – Sri Lanka has decided to concentrate on upmarket clientele and is developing a number of luxury establishments.

The principal tourism themes that will be developed are as follows:

"Nostalgia" – Tourism, "Nature" Tourism, "Hertiage" Tourism, "Adventure Lovers" Tourism, "Wellness and Ayurveda" Tourism, "Business" Tourism in Colombo.

A Social Responsibility project will be launched to develop the Sri Lankan identity vis-à-vis responsible tourism. This new project will focus on the local communities. Tourists visiting Sri Lanka will be able to do community service in many sectors, such as children welfare, animal welfare, peace building programs and projects to assist the handicapped individuals. In doing so, they will be able to participate in a noble cause during their vacation period.

Also note that a communication campaign B2B and B2C will be launched in Fall 2007 in order to promote the special promotions and provide general information on the destination.

Finally, the active re-launch of the destination will be put in place through various activities with the tourism professionals:

Operation « Half Price for your Better Half" – from October to December 2007 and January 2008. In combination with a reduction (50%) in the air fare for the 2 nd person – the Tour Operators selling a "special package" can offer a reduction of 50% to the 2 nd person on the entire package ( air and ground package) Incentive for Travel Agents. As a motivating tool, travel agents will receive gift checks for the value of 20 Euros for each person purchasing a special package. These promotions will start from 1 October to 15 December 2007 and from 1 January to 31 January 2008.

"Mega fam trips": A intensive programme of eductours from October 2007 to March 2008 for those Tour Operators participating in those joint promotions with Sri Lanka Tourist Board and SriLankan Airlines. During this period, 10-12 agents will travel to rediscover the destination.

Joint Promotions by Sri Lanka Tourist Board and those Tour Operators willing to participate on an equal basis in the costs. Each project will be examined on a case-by-case basis and then detailed budgets will be established.

A Treasure Hunt will take place from 5-12 October 2007 in Sri Lanka to discover exceptional tourist sites for travel agents. Over 40 counter sales staff will participate in this unique experience destined to discover the hidden treasures of Sri Lanka through active participation and interaction with the local communities.

2nd edition of Raid Amazones in January 2008. 4 years after the Ist edition of Raid Amazones in January 2004, the 2008 version will take place in the centre of Sri Lanka: notably in the area of the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya.

- Asian Tribune -

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