Sri Lanka Tourism was able to show its Asian pride in the Middle East at the Winter Festival Consumer Promotion at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, held from 8-10 December.
This festival is a popular consumer event held annually in Dubai and in 2015 over 30,000 visitors attended the event. The festival is publicised through a campaign consisting of digital, TV, outdoor, radio, social media, SMS campaign, print advertising and editorial elements. The main objective of this participation was to create awareness about Sri Lanka as a major tourist hub and to attract investors to build important business partnerships. The Sri Lankan representation included a cultural and contemporary dance segment, a video presentation, the distribution of promotional material and giveaways and promotion of Ceylon Tea in the booth. Sri Lanka Tourism’s participation at this fair not only created awareness over various consumer products including herbs and spices, since Mediterranean spices are quite similar to those used in the Asian continent, but also as a tropical country which is blessed with natural resources.
The Middle Eastern region is one of the major tourist generating markets which is important to Sri Lanka and its tourism sector. Sri Lanka Tourism extended its promotional activities in Dubai in conjunction with the event, with the distribution of leaflets and flyers to supermarkets and schools and was also featured on the Dubai Winter Festival Facebook page which has more than 30,000 followers. Sri Lanka Tourism also collaborated with the Dubai Winter festival, at the same time dedicating HTML to a database of over 450,000 people.
The Sri Lankan stall captured the attention of those who participated at the fair since it was beautifully adorned with the main attractions of Sri Lanka, depicting it as a paradise island of the sun, sand and sea. A life-size statue of an elephant was a central attraction and ideal icon for photo shoots. For visitors it was a different experience altogether.
Up to November 2016, tourist arrivals from the Middle East numbered 100,914, which was an increase of 7.5% compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.