Rs. 75 m tripartite collaboration between Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and Tamasek Foundation International to bolster Sri Lanka’s tourism industry
Ministry Secy. insists digital marketing signifies future, no alternative than to embrace technology even in tourism
SLTPB Chairman believes program will truly shift traditional thinking towards a new path
SCE CEO looks forward to many partnerships in the future
Tamasek Foundation Director says to consider the grant a ‘small gift pack’
By Charumini de Silva
A tripartite official grant agreement was inked on Wednesday to conduct a three-year capacity building program for public and private stakeholders in the tourism industry.
The Tourism Development Management Program is collaboration between the SLTPB, SCE and Tamasek Foundation International to support capacity building with a view to uplift Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
The launch of the program and a one-day workshop on ‘Digital marketing, social media marketing, public relations and communication’ was held yesterday at the BMICH in Colombo with over 100 participants representing a cross section of Government agencies connected to tourism, provincial council officials, tourism institutions and key private sector tourism partners.
Outlining the idea behind this program, Tourism Development, Lands and Christian Affairs Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said it was envisaged when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Singapore last year and based on the discussions the Premier had with the authorities in Singapore, a joint team from SCE and the Tamasek Foundation visited Sri Lanka, resulting in a number of discussions which led to the launch of the program.
“This is a project costing little over Rs. 75 million, where one-third of it will be absorbed by Sri Lanka Tourism while the balance will be funded by the partners from Singapore,” he noted.
The Secretary said the importance of close collaboration between tourism stakeholders and Government agencies would potentially make a significant contribution towards uplifting Sri Lanka’s tourism industry in the future with this continuous training program.
Sugathadasa pointed out that the workshop held on the theme of digital marketing and communication would provide an exciting opportunity for stakeholders to uplift their skills and knowledge.
“We all recognise that digital marketing represents the future and there is no alternative than to embrace technology even in tourism marketing. You industry professionals, the key personnel in promoting and marketing Sri Lanka as a tourist and travel destination, are increasingly called upon to focus on this segment of the market to attract a decent share of the market,” he stressed.
SCE Chief Executive Officer Kong Wy Mun said the Tourism Development Management program marks the second capacity building program that the SCE is collaborating with the Sri Lankan Government on.
“SLTPB called on the SCE for assistance in designing a series of customised capacity building workshops that will benefit up to 100 Government officials from tourism-related ministries and agencies,” he added.
Mun acknowledged that the training program would benefit Sri Lanka as it was poised to develop the tourism industry further and SLTPB was geared to embark on a global digital marketing campaign, with an aim to better capture the attention of tourists in the digital age to promote Sri Lanka as a preferred destination.
He also commended the Tamasek Foundation for granting SDG 460,200 to support this program.
“We look forward to more partnerships between Singapore and Sri Lanka in the time to come,” Mun added.
Tamasek Foundation International Senior Director Stanley Lee identified the best resource personnel from Singapore, leaders of Sri Lanka and large participation as the three key facets which would lead to the success of this program.
“Consider this grant funding from the Tamasek Foundation as a small gift pack,” he added.
Sharing Singapore’s experience, Lee said the tourism industry had contributed significantly to building its economy for the past 50 years.
SLTPB Chairman Paddy Withana believes that this program will truly shift traditional thinking towards a new path.
He said yesterday’s workshop, which also focused on Singapore’s best practices in the tourism industry, would certainly help Sri Lanka realise its future growth objectives.
“Learning through experience is one of the most effective techniques which many winning businesses and organisations follow today. Therefore, I am sure the best practices of Singapore in terms of tourism development will truly shift traditional thinking onto a new path,” he added.
Source : FT