Dubai, United Arab Emirates (PressExposure) May 07, 2009 -- Sri Lanka Tourism launched its new brand during the Arabian Travel Market 2009 exhibition, with a new tagline and logo expected to usher in a new era for Sri Lanka Tourism across the world.
The new brand - Sri Lanka Small Miracle - the positioning that was conceptualized following months of research by A C Nielson and strategic planning sessions will replace the current tagline "Sri Lanka, Land like No other"
As part of the communication campaign many promotions, road shows and press conferences have been planned across the fifteen cities in ten countries - a move that is expected to attract and generate more tourists into the island.
Mr. Dileep Mudadeniya, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said "The objective of the Sri Lanka Tourism re-branding exercise was to create a single core idea that can change people's perception of the country. The challenge faced by Sri Lanka Tourism during the brand strategy planning session in 2006 was to find an idea that embraces the truth of the country which is relevant to the potential visitor; then communicate that idea through every material item that produced thus establishing an integrated marketing communication approach."
Sri Lanka Tourism's new brand positioning is "One of the many unfathomable mysteries of Sri Lanka is how it manages to squeeze so many different features. These include palm -fringed warm coastal beaches to the picturesque highlands with sprawling tea plantations; over a two thousand five hundred year old ancient culture blended in later periods with the impact of Dutch, Portuguese and British cultures; seven of the worlds heritage sites; probably the world's eighth wonder, the diverse crops from coconut along the warm coastal waters to the world famous tea gardens; its range of spices; its abundant flora, fauna and its precious gem stones; all this in one picturesque island with a land area no larger than Ireland"
The positioning strategy was arrived at based on the key aspects of the destination - Diverse, Compactness, Authenticity and Island which differentiate the destination from other competitors.
The unique selling proposition of the brand is based on the concept that "in tourism marketing we are marketing an intangible product - a dream."
Where differences remain, however is in consumer's emotional attachment or commitment to a brand, "Thus an Emotional Selling Proposition"
Emotional appeal and brand personality are the essence of many Contemporary advertising success stories
Sri Lanka Tourism Unique Emotional Proposition (UEP) - (USP) is "Asia's most treasured tourist island"
Desired consumer perception: Its friendly people truly combine these rich and diverse treasures so amazingly concentrated in this small island to provide the most pleasant diverse and authentic holiday experience no other Asian destination could so conveniently offer".
As a result all communication material have been revamped - the website has been re-launched with a new look and feel in keeping with the brand strategy, brochures with eight different themes unique to Sri Lanka, Posters, Stationary and Memorabilia in addition to the new print and electronic campaign that would be seen in prominent international trade magazines as well as TV campaigns on BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Discovery Travel & Living.
Destination Representation Companies (DRC) were appointed in key markets - namely in Middle East, France, Germany, Russia and India to implement the creative execution of the new brand positioning.
A soft launch of the rebranding took place at ITB in Berlin earlier this year and has subsequently been extended to its key markets - including the Middle East, the U.K France, Russia and India as well as its growth markets of Italy, Japan, and China.
Special value based packages will be introduced from India and Europe while plans are underway to launch a "buy one get one free" offer.
To coincide with the offer Sri Lanka Tourism will promote value additional offers for tourists arriving during the said offer period. A Post card campaign will be launched where 250,000 post cards will be distributed while a discount booklet campaign will also be simultaneously launched with over 50 discount offers in a booklet
10 post cards and a discount booklet will be bundled together and packed in a gift box and handed over to tourists arriving in Sri Lanka.
In addition a cyber competition - a competition for the blogging community is planned to be launched during this period.
In keeping with government policy and in consultation with the industry Sri Lanka Tourism has given special concessions for the SME sector to participate in international fairs.
The process to develop the new brand began as far back as 2004 when with the participation of all the stake holders strategic planning and brain storming sessions were conducted and also debates were made on many aspects were discussed and agreed. Similar sessions were held subsequently in 2008
The brand launch coincides with the new era of peace that Sri Lanka is expecting in the next couple of weeks, following the victories of the government forces against the LTTE. The Sri Lankan Government is positive about the post war scenario and is looking at a marketing strategy for Sri Lanka Tourism.
Development Activities In the wake of its military victories, the Sri Lankan government has commenced development activities in the North and East of the island - earlier ravaged by war.
As a result, development of A9, A32 and A4 Highways - roads leading from the Kandy to Jaffna, Mannar to Jaffna and through Arugam Bay to Baticolaoa in the North, East and of the island are already underway
Infrastructure development has begun on other Sri Lankan roads, irrigation and other basic facilities.
Eastern Province Development With the help of the provincial council, the main aim is to develop tourism in the Eastern Province. The East Coast of Sri Lanka has the best beaches in the country and possibly one of the best in South East Asia.
Development on agriculture, dairy farming and fisheries is already underway. The plan is to develop the earlier livelihood of the people in the area
The government has also launched a rehabilitation programme for LTTE cadres who have surrendered to the government. With the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Employment, some of these people have been sent for employment overseas.
With such development activities taking place within the entire island, Sri Lanka - which boasts of diverse offerings - be it miles of palm fringed beaches, cool tropics of the hill country, wild life or city life within a tiny compact island, will go back to its old charm of a safe tropical island - the way it was known many years ago. What other tagline would be apt for Sri Lanka other than - small miracle!