Sri Lanka can achieve higher numbers of tourist arrivals if it puts in place a robust and strategic marketing plan to promote the island as a world class tourist destination, a leading hotelier said.
Vice President and General Manager of Shangri La Hotels Lanka Limited Timothy Wright, in an interview with NewsIn.Asia said that Sri Lanka needed to invest more into its marketing plans for the Government to achieve its target of 4 million tourists by 2020.
“The country will definitely get the returns on its investments. Many in the private sector are eager and willing to advise the Government but it is not our role to lead that objective. But there is a strong enthusiasm and support in the private sector to help the stakeholders. However, the financial investment has to be made by the Government. As an international brand we are already doing our own marketing. We already have our own network of sales and contacts.”
Shangri La has invested millions of dollars in Sri Lanka and in June launched a 300 room 5-star luxury beach resort in the southern coast of Hambantota for the leisure traveler.
The leading hotel brand is also constructing a second hotel in Colombo with 500 rooms, which is scheduled to open in 2017 and will target both the business and leisure traveler.
Wright said its entry into Sri Lanka was at a very positive time in the country’s tourism history. While its brand is already established in many parts of the world, Shangri La hopes to attract customers to Sri Lanka as well.