Island Escapes is initiated and implemented by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB) along with three associations representing airlines, hotels and destination management companies (DMCs). The participating airlines, which include SriLankan Airlines, Emirates and Qatar, will be offering special rates on airfares as well.
The campaign introduces tourist packages starting from four days/three nights at $ 99 per person and encourages Colombo city hotels to give rooms at prices below the contentious floor rate, thus driving up occupancy and profits.
This is the first time that a planned and comprehensive country promotion is being launched in the country with an investment of Rs. 65 million and with the active participation of 33 industry stakeholders. The official launch of the campaign will take place on 15 September while the campaign will be operational from September to November and April to June in order to increase arrivals.
Citing countries within the region that had initiated such a campaign with fruitful outcomes, minister of Tourism - John Amaratunga expressed confidence that ‘Island Escapes’ would also be successful.
“We have seen countries like Singapore and Dubai do these kind of programs very successfully and based on the success of the campaign we will fine-tune it next year,” he added.
“We have to adopt this type of methodology to attract tourists. I hope by November we will be able to increase our numbers to 2.5 million to 3 million. We will experiment. We will see what gains the country will receive from this. I am quite confident that these types of initiatives will be successful,” the Minister said.