Sri Lanka to tailor tourist promotions to Indian states

Oct 23, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion agency will market Sri Lanka to Indians on a state by state basis, with the Gujarat in Andhra Pradesh as its pilot project, officials said. Head of Sri Lanka Renton de Alwis says India is a large market but it is difficult to market due its large size.

“So we want to be state-specific and segment-specific,” says, De Alwis.

Ripe Market

India has one of the largest and fastest growing middle class in the world, with approximately 300 million people.

By September 2008, 63,915 Indians had visited Sri Lanka down from 77900 in the same period, a year earlier.

Sri Lanka’s tourist industry wants to reverse the trend. The new campaign will kick off in Gujarat to be followed by Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.

Air travel – especially over long distances – have been made prohibitively expensive over the past year. Though oil prices are falling, many Western economies are in turmoil. Worries about job losses are hardly conducive for a holiday mood.

Sri Lanka’s internal conflict has also resulted in travel advisories being issued by Western governments.

Sri Lanka’s tourist industry is ho