The Dentsu Grant Group together with SLAITO and THASL launch the ‘And you thought you knew Sri Lanka’ campaign to entice Indian travelers to visit Sri Lanka’s hidden gems.
Colombo: In a bid to support the revival of tourism in Sri Lanka,the Dentsu Grant Group Sri Lanka and Dentsu India have joined hands to gift an integrated marketing campaign titled; “And you thought you knew Sri Lanka” to the tourism industry. The campaign was created specially targeting the younger Indian tourist market for The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) to help them promote the country to this potential target market. With the latest data showing USD 10 Billion was spent by Indians on foreign travel, the time seems opportune to try to woo some of this market to Sri Lanka.
The new campaign positions Sri Lanka as an exciting destination that offers a wide array of experiences many that are little known and off-the-beaten track. The campaign launch event was graced by the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka – His Excellency Gopal Baglay; Hon. Harin Fernando MP – Minister of Tourism and Lands; the President of SLAITO – Nishad Wijetunga; the President of THASL – M. Shantikumar and the Chairperson of the Dentsu Group – Neela Marikkar, along with other industry stakeholders and social media influencers.
Commenting at the event, Nishad Wijetunga – President of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) said, “The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators and The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka are grateful to the Dentsu Grant Group for creating this very exciting integrated marketing campaign that will resonate with young Indian professionals who are seeking adventurous holidays, away from the stressful corporate environment. The campaign will highlight Sri Lanka’s hidden gems, which offer authentic and unique experiences that appeal to the target demographic. The Indian market has been a key support for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry always and we believe this re-energized effort to attract more Indian Millennials and Gen Z’s will be a win-win initiative for all parties and support Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.”
M. Shantikumar – President of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) commenting on the initiative said “Sri Lanka possesses a rich culture that is truly unlike any other in the world. And we think this campaign resonates with the core values and the mission we try to achieve through our association while really bringing out the idea that this little island can surprise you in all that it has to offer. We at THASL are excited to partner with SLAITO to bring Dentsu’s idea to life and we also truly believe that the Indian market will be moved by the exciting and heartwarming experience created by Sri Lanka and its people, while helping the tourism industry boom once again”.
Elaborating further, Neela Marikkar – Chairperson of the Dentsu Grant Group said, “We are delighted to extend a helping hand to boost the tourism industry stakeholders, including the SME sector who have all been badly affected. When our Dentsu network reached out to see how they can assist the country at this difficult time we decided to collaborate with our counterparts in India to develop a tourism promotion campaign on a pro bono basis to support the revival of tourism to the country. We felt it would be the best support we could give as it’s a quick win to drive foreign exchange back to the country. India was the market of our choice going by our data we estimate around 24 million potential target audience just within South India alone. This is significant. We wanted to have a new story to tell our younger audience about amazing aspects of Sri Lanka that they won’t know about. And that’s what our campaign will do. We are happy to support THASL and SLAITO to bring in a greater inflow of Indian tourists. Dentsu is a leading global agency network and we have been able to get Dentsu Creative and Dentsu X in India to work with us to develop the concept and also get some media houses in India to support us in the initial stage on a pro bono basis. They too appreciate the challengse we face, and we are grateful for the support we have received right across the board. As Sri Lanka’s leading creative marcom agency, we have conceptualized a campaign which we feel will strike a chord with these young Indian audience and hope to inspire them to visit our beautiful country.
This campaign will feature lesser-known sites that offer a brand-new experience to young Indian professionals who are adventurous and looking for authentic experiences. Some of the locations featured in the campaign are the Underwater Shipwreck in Pasikuda; Nildiya Pokuna at Ella; Kabaragala Mountain Hike in Sabaragamuwa; White Water Rafting in Kithulgala; and Water Sports at Kalpitiya. Sri Lanka has all the ingredients to be a short-haul adventure destination for Indian professionals looking for a fun and inspiring holiday.
Our partners to the campaign are Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Lois London – for sponsoring the fashion in the film, PR – who provided all the high-end swimwear for the film, Greenfolk, iFilm, Malinda Bandara, Gal Oya and Juice – for the free footage, Water garden and Aitken Spence Hotels & Aitken Spence Travels – for providing the accommodation, locations & logistics for our shoot.