For the year 2022, Sri Lanka Tourism’s travel influencer facilitation program (also known as Visiting Blogger Program) has undertaken creative influencer promotional campaigns by covering diversified tourism experiences from around the island, covering various regional territories.
Over the first one and half months (up to 10th March 2022), Visiting Blogger Program (VBP) collaborated with some of the multi-award-winning international travel influencers from around the world to popularize the reopening of destination Sri Lanka for international tourists.
One of the key aims of these earned media promotions was to showcase Sri Lanka as an ‘Unforgettable Holiday Maker’ now opened for international tourism and the local tourism industry’s focus towards sustainable tourism development by sharing tourism-related economic opportunities among the local community stakeholders to make their lives better by preserving the unique natural and cultural values.
Furthermore, visited influencers have increased global awareness about Sri Lanka as a ‘Safe to Travel Holiday Destination’ during the pandemic period by highlighting how welcoming Sri Lankans’ Are and ‘How Normal Life with Safe and Secure Measurements’ set up by the government.
Areas such as Anuradhapura, Matale, Kunckle’s Mountian Range, Gal Oya, Kumana, Pottuvil, Passikudah, Southern and Eastern Coastal belts were some of the highlights of the overall influencer promotions.
Fifteen (15) internally well-recognized travel influencers representing nine (09) sourcing markets including the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Belgium, USA, and Spain were invited during February and early march period. The total combined reach of these influencers is 5,291,333 and they are expected to create over 276 online posts about Sri Lanka covering mainstream social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Through these versatile earned media collaborations, Sri Lanka Tourism is expected to create massive global attention towards Sri Lanka over the upcoming months in 2022.
Multi-Award Winning British Travel Blogger, Bella Falk (blog: www.passportandpixcel.com) who took part in Media Familiarization Trip with Sri Lanka Tourism stated:
“I was lucky enough to travel around Sri Lanka, experiencing some of the incredible places this country has to offer including gorgeous sceneries, ancient historical sites, amazing food, and some lovely hotels. What I like about is the sustainable focus of some of the hotels. That encourages us as travelers to visit Sri Lanka’. I just found Sri Lanka is so welcoming and beautiful as well. If you thinking about coming, I would recommend”
Janet Newenham, one of the world’s well-recognized travel bloggers, who explored the Eastern Province under VBP – 2022 shared her true experiences on her Instagram as follows:
“Most people visiting Sri Lanka flock to the cultural triangle (Kandy, Sigiriya, Ella) and also spend a few days in the South Coast. But soon the monsoon season will begin in the South Coast, and many cafes, co-working spaces, and even some accommodation places will close their doors. From May onwards the Eastern Monsoon ends and this Eastern coastline of Sri Lanka is the place to be with long, dry days and plenty of sunshine. For surfing, most people will probably head to Arugam Bay, which is perfect for beginner surfers year-round and Pro surfers during the summer months when waves are best. The beaches are spectacular from the town of Panama to Arugam Bay, Passikuda, and Trincomalee. From June onwards the water becomes super flat and clear in Passikuda, ideal for snorkeling, SUP, and other water-based activities including jet skis, etc.”
Moreover, she highlighted, “One unique thing about the East coast is the mixture of culture and religion. You’ll find both Buddhist and Hindu temples overlooking the beaches, but also quite a large Muslim population too. And the further north you go, you’ll notice they speak Tamil rather than just Sinhala, like in the local market we went to this morning where the first photo was taken. No matter where you stay on the east coast, you’re never too far from a National Park. This means there are endless opportunities to take a swim in the sea in the morning and spend your afternoon in search of rare birdlife or even wild elephants. A pretty amazing holiday combination”.
The USA based Travel You Tuber, Michael Shubic recalled his memories of traveling around Sri Lanka:
“We were invited by Sri Lanka Tourism to go on a press trip for two weeks, and it was amazing, so we decided to stay two more weeks on our own. Sigiriya is the most popular. One of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka, It’s just an amazing hike and 360 views. At Unawatuna, we saw the sunset of the epic. If you want to experience this for yourself, come to Sri Lanka. There is so much to offer on a relatively small island. So if you’re looking for a different and amazing destination for your next vacation, come to SL”.
Award-Winning Spanish Travel Instagramer, David Rocaberti stated:
“Be ready to rock, you never know what comes next. I must confess I didn’t see this one coming. The sky didn’t look promising at all, but I decided somehow to take my tripod and a set of filters with me. Boy, oh boy, I’m so lucky I did. Thanks, @destination_srilanka for making it possible”.
Local Travel & Hospitality Industry Partners and regional tourism boards also collaborated with Sri Lanka Tourism on this media promotional campaign (Naming: The Kingsbury Hotel – Colombo, Amaya Resorts & Spas, Jetwing Hotels, Taj Bentoa Resort & Spa, Theme Resorts & Spas, Galle Face Hotels, North Central Province Tourism, Ebert Silva Holdays Pvt. Ltd.)