India says pilgrim traffic, tourism a boon for economic revival in Sri Lanka
India has urged Sri Lanka to invest in attracting the pilgrim traffic from India in a bid to generate a higher number of arrivals to the country as tourism will bring about economic revival and improve livelihoods of the people as well.
Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay said in Colombo on Wednesday that Sri Lanka needs to focus its efforts on not just attracting the leisure traveller but also the large numbers of thousands of pilgrims that continue to look to the island to complete their religious obligations.
He was speaking at the launch of the new marketing campaign by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and Tourism Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) together with Dentsu Grant Group on the theme “And you thought you knew Sri Lanka” to entice Indian travellers to visit Sri Lanka’s hidden gems.
He noted that India has been supportive of Sri Lanka since the COVID-19 times and in the last few months as well. In this respect he said that India’s cooperation in tourism is geared to benefit the people of the two countries.
Mr. Baglay also said that Sri Lanka needs to look to India’s progress in terms of speed and scale of change that is happening all over the subcontinent.
He noted that out of three new subscribers to the Internet two are from the villages; and India does not live only in its middle class.
“The pandemic propelled us forward and not backward,” he said.
Dentsu Grant Group Chairperson Neela Marikkar highlighted the key findings of the research carried out by them regarding the Indian traveller.
Some US$10 billion has been spent by Indians last year for outbound travel, she said, noting that Indians were ready to travel and looking to go out.
Sri Lanka is a budget friendly destination for most Indians, she said adding that singles and young couples are likely to travel to Sri lanka today.
During the event the website of the campaign “andyouthoughtyouknewSriLanka” was launched which spotlights some of the unique places not popularly known and less travelled to.
Dentsu has been able to get Dentsu Creative and Dentsu X in India to work with the Sri Lankan counterparts to develop the concept and also get some media houses in India to support in the initial stage on a pro bono basis.
SLAITO Chairman Nishad Wijetunge said that every time Sri Lanka faced setbacks in tourism it is India that has come to our rescue.
Tourism Minister Harin Fernando noted that the Indian media still portrays Sri Lanka from the days of the protests held last year.
It’s sad, he said, adding that even during the marketing campaign held in India last year the media would ask him whether there is food to eat in Sri Lanka and electricity as well.
He pointed out that it was the negative media content that held back the numbers of arrivals from increasing.
Hitad.lk has you covered with quality used or brand new cars for sale that are budget friendly yet reliable! Now is the time to sell your old ride for something more attractive to today's modern automotive market demands. Browse through our selection of affordable options now on Hitad.lk before deciding on what will work best for you!