a??A Small Miraclea??: a concept gone wrong?

Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

By Cheranka Mendis

Sri Lanka, with the brand new a??Small Miraclea?? label, was set to take on the international market by storm. But itA? is now searching for a new concept to re-position itself. With the launch of the new programme on June 23 amidst all the pomp and blare at the BMICH, it has now been put on hold due to amendments set to be made to the tagline.

Buy myambutol dosage ….Best land in Sri Lanka is the land stretching from Trincomalee to Arugambay….. Zyprexa used for eating disorders

The Tourism Minister, Nandana Gunathilaka, who has been on the job for a mere 22 days, stated on Tuesday that amendments should be made in the concept behind the newly launched re-branding and promotional campaign of a??Sri Lanka: Small Miraclea?? which was seen to be an integral part of the repositioning strategy of Sri Lanka Tourism. a??Sri Lanka is not a??smalla?? in any way,a?? said the Minister. a??With a culture and heritage dating back to more than 3000 years, and a large population density, with the greatest feat in modern history of ending a ravaging war of 30 years, Sri Lanka is no a??small miraclea?? in any way,a?? said the Minister, a??thus the concept of a??small miraclea?? should be amended soon.a??

Minister Gunathilaka also stated that this issue was highlighted during a recent meeting held with President Rajapaksa last week. Action will soon be taken to rectify any errors made.

Minister of Tourism Promotion, Mr. Faizer Mustapha seconding the statement made by the Minister, told the Daily FT that according to certain reservations of the President,A? the tagline will be changed in the near future. a??We will deal with these issues in a constructive and a consultative process,a?? said Mustapha.

When posed the question of the money already spent on the campaign, he stated that the matter only relates to the tagline and not the investment or the promotion as a whole. a??The promotional campaigns were organised to restructure and give a new branding to Sri Lanka.A? a??Sri Lanka: Small Miraclea?? is only a tagline. The investment likewise was put in for new branding and not only for the tagline, so we wouldna??t consider this a great loss of investment,a?? said Mr. Mustapha. a??The total investment will not go to waste.a??

Mr. Gunathilaka also stated that with the target proposed by President Rajapaksa of attracting 2.5 million tourists by 2016, the Ministry hopes to attract 700,000 tourists by 2010.

a??We also hope to put forward an appeal to increase the budget allocated for tourism from 30% in the new budget proposal for 2010,a?? he said. This would help Sri Lanka gain pace and be on par with the rest of the world on competitive tourism.

However, it should be noted and remembered that the original plan by the tourism industry was to a??expect tourist arrivals of 1 million by 2010. Earnings were expected to be around US $ 1,727 million, which wasA? claimed to be four times the current level of foreign exchange earned from the industry then, according to the Economic and Market Bulletin published on October, 2004 by the Economic Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Sri Lanka Tourist Boarda??s Plan for 2005 issued in 2004 also expected a 10% annual growth rate of the industry during the period of 2004-2010.

Sri Lanka Tourism Report 2008 published by Business Monitor reported that a??Some 494,008 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka during the year, a drop of 11.7% year on year.a?? It also stated that an average annual growth rate of 1.5% in tourist arrivals over the forecast period to 2012 may be possible, if the ongoing promotional efforts to attract visitors from the Middle East region, Russia and India come to fruition. This was reportedly due to the internal strife that was going on.

Even with all parties claiming that tourism arrivals are on the verge of a boost with the end of the 30 year old conflict which has resulted in the lifting of the many travel advisories issued by some major tourist generating countries because of the security situation in the country at that time, it has not yet improved in a significant manner.

The Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Mr. Sarath Amunugama, stated,A? also at the AGM of the Tourists Hotels Association of SL on Tuesday, that with the large fall in tourist arrivals in the country, it is easier to calculate tourist arrivals by bed nights instead of a head count, as the former also takes into count the numbers of tourists staying in Sri Lanka in transit as well. a??It has decreased by significant numbers, almost by four lakhs,a?? he said.

Infrastructure development and improving and updating existing conditions of lodging facilities were featured as key concerns for sectoral development by the Minister of Tourism. He stated that theA? sector which has reported having 5,000-6,000 roomsA? hopes to increase this figure to approximately 35,000 rooms soon.

The quality of lodgings was also addressed by Minister Amunugama. He stated that Sri Lanka should aim at the middle classes of countries such as India, China, Russia and South Asian countries, which have a high growth rate. a??The middle classes in these countries are growing at a fast pace and has large amounts of disposable income which could benefit the tourism industry as a whole.a??

India should be taken as an example for Lankan development as the middle class in India was said to grow at 50 million along with approximately 3 hotels being opened up each day, said Mr. Amunugama. Catering to this market with the 180 flights to the 18 destinations per week, which the Minister said only Sri Lanka offers, would give the industry the boost that is critically needed at the moment.

a??There are many issues hindering the expected growth in the industry,a?? said Mr. Amunugama. a??Sri Lanka is not 100% ready for large scale investment right now; that along with the issues regarding the availability and buying land for hotels are vital issues under current discussion,a?? he said. He also stated that the question: a??Is it open skies or nota?? is also a threat to industrya??s growth.

Best land in Sri Lanka is the land stretching from Trincomalee to Arugambay and with proper planning and management could benefit the country significantly, he said. However whether the growth and development in the future should be planned or unplanned would be a question of matter and demand, Minister also said. a??Bentota scheme for example was planned development but Hikkaduwa is an unplanned development which has served positively,a?? he said also adding that a zonal plan was already underway for the Kalpitiya area which includes 20-30 hotels as well.

2 Responses to “a??A Small Miraclea??: a concept gone wrong?”

  • totally agree 🙂

  • From the day i heard about the new tag line i thought that it wouldn’t work.Sri lanka is not an small miracle its a land like no other,All over the world we get miracles but you will never find a land like this in the whole face of earth.

Leave a Reply