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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008

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Rs. 3.5 m investment to woo more Gulf travellers

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and SriLankan Airlines will invest Rs. 3.5 million to initiate an integrated marketing campaign in the Gulf to woo more travellers from June 1 to August 31.

Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Dileep Mudadeniya, said that there is an increase of Gulf travellers to Asia and Sri Lanka too wants to tap this market.

The Gulf market to Sri Lanka has been growing and it recorded an 80.6 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year,” he said.

Under this promotion leading hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka will extend a value added benefit for Middle East travellers by offering a free stay for one child (below 12 years) per paying adult sharing the parent’s room as an industry standard during the summer months.

“We are pleased to unveil this family-friendly package for the summer season to encourage more Middle East visitors to our destination,” said Deputy Minister of Tourism Faiszer Mustapha.

The Deputy Minister said that competition in the travel industry was intense. “It is vital to understand the needs of our travel origin markets and formulate programs to capitalise on opportunities and gain a market share and Sri Lanka with this family-package and value added services is well positioned to capture a fair share of the market,” he said.

SriLankan Holidays’ General Manager, Amith Sumanapala said, “We have tied up with three trade partners namely Connaissance De Ceylan, Jetwing Travels and Walkers Tours to give holidaymakers a world of memories.”

In this latest initiative to promote tourism to Sri Lanka, SriLankan Holidays will give away a free holiday package for each child under 12 accompanying an adult who has purchased a special SriLankan Holidays package to the tropical island between June and August.

SriLankan Airlines Regional Manager of the Commercial Department, Mohamed Fazeel said, “We are confident that this new family package will encourage both Arab and expat travellers from the region to experience destination Sri Lanka and is in line with our strategy to increase our leisure travel focus, catering to Arab nationals as well as Western and Asian expatriates,” he said.

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