SriLankan Airlines has invested more than Rs. 350 million in advertising
campaigns overseas in the last two years to promote Sri Lanka as a
tourist destination, among its many strategies to encourage travel into
the country.The National Carrier recently launched its latest campaign in London,
‘You can see the world in Sri Lanka,’ a Rs. 10.2 million month-long
series of media and Internet advertisements that will run through
“As the National Carrier of Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines continuously
emphasizes the need to project a positive image of the country
throughout the world. The airline has invested and will continue to
invest heavily in promoting Sri Lanka as a travel and tourism
destination,” said Peter Hill, CEO of SriLankan.
These dedicated campaigns focus completely on promoting Sri Lanka as a
“We significantly increased our promotions of the country following the
Tsunami, and our efforts are continuing into 2007 and beyond. We are
fully committed to promoting this country, even at a time when the
airline is undergoing severe financial constraints,” said Chandana De
Silva, Head of Corporate Communications.
The advertising campaigns have included ‘Rediscover Sri Lanka’ in 2005
with Sri Lanka Tourism, the Tourism Cluster and USAID in which SriLankan
contributed Rs. 230 million (USD 2.3 million); Rs. 16.4 million in
collaborative campaigns with foreign tour operators such as Kuoni, Saga
and Mercury Direct; the Rs. 18 million ‘See the World in Sri Lanka’
campaign; Rs. 25 million on dual-destination promotions of Sri Lanka and
the Maldives in Far Eastern markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore,
Malaysia and Thailand; the Rs. 22 million ‘Magic of Sri Lanka’ campaign
in early 2006 which also offered 30% discounts on airfares; and more
than Rs. 40 million to publicize the ‘Valentine’s Day Buy One Get One
Free’ campaign immediately after the Tsunami.
“Our marketing campaigns are carefully targeted at selected markets in
order to obtain the maximum returns for the country. We work with
professional advertising agencies and public relations agencies in each
overseas market,” said Priya Epitawala, Manager Advertising. “These
campaigns focus on the country’s attractions, including the warmth and
friendliness of the people, and other cultural and human qualities of
The advertising campaigns are only one part of the airline’s
multi-dimensional efforts to bring Sri Lanka into the limelight.
SriLankan organizes a number of international events in Sri Lanka, such
as golf, surfing, and rugby tournaments, which bring much exposure to
The airline also invests a significant sum on participating in every
major travel fair throughout Europe and Asia, and also supports the
efforts of Sri Lanka Tourism and the country’s hotel and travel trades
in attending such fairs.
“The airline always sends a strong team to trade fairs, led by the CEO
or other members of the senior management, to provide travellers and
travel partners with full details of the country’s attractions,” said
Saminda Perera, Manager Corporate Events & Promotions.
In addition the airline organized and sponsored the visits to Sri Lanka
of more than 130 journalists in 2006 alone from some of the world’s
major media organizations.
“These are specialist travel writers and sports journalists who give the
country massive amounts of exposure since they focus on the attractions
of Sri Lanka,” said Ruvini Jayasinghe, Manager Media Relations. “Our PR
agencies in foreign markets also continuously hold media briefings, and
distribute media releases and other publicity materials which keep Sri
Lanka and the airline in the minds of travellers.”
The airline also entices large numbers of travellers with its frequent
discounted rates on airfares. The recent online offers between Colombo
and the airline’s three European destinations were snapped up by
travellers in London.
The airline’s rapid expansion has also opened up new markets. SriLankan
now serves 50 destinations in 28 countries, and has made the entire
island conveniently accessible through its domestic service SriLankan
Air Taxi which serves 17 destinations. The company’s the leisure arm
SriLankan Holidays also provides excellent value for money options for