Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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USAID and SLTA launch social media influencer campaign to boost tourism

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Indo Pacific Opportunity Project (IPOP) and Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance (SLTA) recently launched a social media influencer campaign to support efforts to increase Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals and boost the tourism industry.

The campaign will be conducted by a team of 10 global influencers with followers from top tourism source markets, including: the UK, India, France, Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, Canada and the United States.

The team will travel to many exotic locations around the country to showcase a range of sustainable niche tourism products and experiential cultural attractions that Sri Lanka has to offer to attract more visitors to the country.

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing an encouraging surge in tourist arrivals and on Tuesday 26 September, crossed the crucial landmark of one million tourists for the year 2023 – easily surpassing the total of 720,000 recorded for the whole of 2022.

USSAID launched the Indo Pacific Opportunity Project (IPOP) tourism activity in July 2022 to support economic reforms and promote foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka.

 The two-year project is assisting the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry to streamline and implement new policies and procedures to enable fast-tracking and attraction of foreign direct investment in the tourism sector.

The launch of this social media influencer campaign is another step forward in USAID-IPOP’s strategy to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism.

The landmark also coincided with the celebration of World Tourism Day on 27 September.“The increase in tourist arrivals this year in Sri Lanka is very encouraging,” said Chief Guest, Ambassador of the United States to Sri Lanka Julie Chung at the special launch event.

With the United States having worked side-by-side with Sri Lanka for 75 years, this is what a strong partnership looks like,” she added.

 Using social media influencer campaigns has become a popular strategy for brands and organisations globally to communicate their messages, products, or services to a broader and more engaged audience.

USAID has successfully sponsored social media influencer campaigns in Georgia and, most recently, Nepal. Theses campaigns are especially useful to target specific markets (e.g. UK, Germany, India, etc.) as well as certain interests (Adventure, Culture, Wellness etc.).

“This social media influencer campaign is a novel idea and very timely boost for tourism in Sri Lanka. said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Chalaka Gajabahu.

 By leveraging the power of social media through high-quality influencers, it is possible to increase the global awareness of the amazing tourism assets in Sri Lanka, positioning the country as a high-value destination.

Through captivating content, engaging storytelling, and strategic targeting, the campaign can generate demand, stimulate tourism growth, and contribute to the economic recovery of Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.

“In the tapestry of landscapes and cultures that cloak the island of Sri Lanka, there lies an abundance of singular and sustainable experiences and sights,” says Steller Co-Founder and CEO Pete Bryant. 

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