Skift Take

It’s too early to tell if Sri Lanka will eventually become a global tourism success, but a new marketing campaign under the government's new tourism-friendly leadership is a start.

Tourism players in Sri Lanka often feel that the country — despite boasting a stunning diversity in landscapes and experiences within its small land mass — is still falling short of attaining its full potential.

Decades-long civil war, tsunami, and terrorist attacks notwithstanding, the absence of adequate government funding and a strategy for tourism branding was a persistent hurdle that didn’t go away until recently.

With a new tourism-friendly government in place, a palpable sense of optimism has emerged among Sri Lanka’s private sector players. The industry in collaboration with an agile national tourism organization is launching a cohesive, targeted marketing strategy. It’s a positive first step toward success, as this week’s featured story takes a closer look at.

Elsewhere in Asia, strong public-private collaboration reflected in Singapore’s swift and transparent approach to coronavirus — including the formation of a tourism recovery task force comprising top industry minds from both the public and private sectors — has been lauded as a manifestation of the country’s branding.

A strong sense of “We’re in this together” between all industry players will help Asia tourism navigate through complex times like this.

— Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, Skift Asia Editor, [email protected], @xinyi_pholsena

Skift Stories and More Expert Insights

Crisis-Ridden Sri Lanka Tourism Aims to Regain Momentum: The arrival of a new tourism-focused government appears to fix the global marketing conundrum Sri Lanka has long faced. Will the tourism sector finally get its act together? Hopes are high that it will.

Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Pays Price for Gambling Itself Away: The day of reckoning has come for Sihanoukville as an exodus of Chinese nationals and other tourists occurs. A correction should follow, but can the once popular town regain its soul?

Get the Latest on Coronavirus and the Travel Industry on Skift’s Liveblog

Are Singapore’s Tourism Players Creating a Model for a Post-Virus World? There’s no fixed playbook in responding to an unprecedented global health crisis like coronavirus, but Singapore is a good one to watch when it comes to crisis management and tourism recovery.

Travel Megatrends 2020: Smart Design Isn’t Just for Luxe Travel Anymore: There is no turning back on the transformation of low-budget hotels from the “uncategorized” class into a legitimate segment of the global hotel industry. Future technology and the rise of Gen Z will further fuel innovation and change in the design of economy accommodations — especially in Asia.

The coronavirus has compelled many companies in the travel industry to rethink their policies on the work front, including canceling nonessential travel to China. Photo: Andy Wong/Associated Press

How Travel Companies Themselves Are Taking Coronavirus Precautions: Travel companies are having to adapt not just to a new world for their customers, but for their staff too. This might be a temporary change, but when things return to normal, will our working habits revert as well?

Coronavirus Is Pushing Some Airlines to the Precipice: The UK regional airline Flybe was the first airline casualty of coronavirus. It probably won’t be the last.

Trump Administration Orders Shiji to Sell Hotel Tech Firm StayNTouch: This is a highly unusual action. It’s unclear why the U.S. government would believe a company would compromise the sensitive personal data of U.S. citizens just because it’s based in China.

Asia Editor Xinyi Liang-Pholsena [[email protected]] curates the Skift Asia Weekly newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Tags: skift asia weekly, sri lanka, tourism marketing

Photo credit: Tea pluckers at work in Nuwara Eliya, famed for its mountains, valleys and tea plantations in Sri Lanka. javarman / Adobe

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