Despite the tragic setbacks the country has experienced, global travelers to the country who are comforted by assurances by the Tri-forces and political leadership are starting to show renewed confidence which is denoted in steady stream of tourists who are trickling in.
This is amplified by the interest from travel writers and bloggers who wish to explore, photograph and promote this picturesque destination.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is hosting famed international social media influencers who arrived in the country on 7th May 2019, and will be here until May 19th. Their intention is to continue to promote Sri Lanka as a key destination for the global travel community particularly in markets like USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Australia, India, France and Ukraine.
The crew includes Diana Bancale from Italy, Ayumi Amemiya from Japan, Steven Yalowitz from USA, Pema Chinyam from USA, Jerre Stead from USA, Kateryna Birska and Glib Pyatin from Ukraine.
The influencers and writers will tour Jaffna, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya before arriving to Colombo and departing thereafter. The itinerary has been meticulously planned and mapped out so that lesser known attractions of the country are featured. The Tourism Promotion Bureau estimates that the total reach would amass over 1,600,000. Each of them are expected to post daily updates, photographs, posts, articles in multiple platforms such as popular networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram. All of this is being extensively monitored by the Bureau for its reach, viewership and targeted market.
In tandem with the Visiting Blogger program was a special program aimed at foreign travel journalists. Journalists who visited the country on a media familiarization tour on 26th April included Anastaiia Volchenko from Ukraine representing MT Media, Tan Swee Peng from Malaysia representing ICHI Media, Massimo Bisceglie from Italy representing LSD Magazine, Pietro Tarallo from Italy representing Terreincognite and Marco Buemi from Italy representing Vanity Fair L’Espresso Rai Italia.
The journalists were given a tour of Ella, Katharagama, Yala, Galle, Hikkaduwa, Ambalangoda, Bentota and Kandy.
Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Kishu Gomes said that the country will collectively bounce back. Although tourists arrivals noted a steep decline of 60 to 70 percent immediately after the attacks on Easter, the country still recorded 1700 tourists arrivals per day according to the SLTPB.
“As the Tourism Promotions Bureau of Sri Lanka we thank the team of bloggers with heartfelt gratitude for voluntarily coming forward to report the prevailing security situation of the country and redirect attention on the undisturbed tourism value proposition. And we invite other global tourism industry stakeholders to help us with similar activities in order to revive and rebuild the preferred tourism brand 2019, as ranked by many independent organizations,” he further said.