Sri Lanka splashes US$ 1 mn to lure Indian holidaymakers

Mar 17 (LBO) — Sri Lanka will launch a US$ 1 million ad campaign into India on Saturday, to entice travelers from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to come experience the island.

-Zainab Ibrahim: zainab@vanguardlk.com

The country, famed for its beaches, cultural tourism and wildlife holidays, is selling on its diversity and its close proximity off the tip of India, to fight off regional competition.

“We have competitive advantages like our proximity it is easier to get to Colombo, visas on arrival, airline accessibility and maybe soon even convertibility of currency. The governments are discussing this at the moment,” Hiran Cooray, President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, said on Friday.

India has taken over from Britain and Germany as Sri Lanka’s hotspot for tourists, with 113,332 arrivals last year a figure the island hopes to grow to 150,000 this year.

The three month campaign run by J Walter Thompson (JWT) Sri Lanka and funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will take off in India on Saturday.

“Some of the key insights we had was Indian travelers saying when