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Last Updated:[11-05-2009 06:51:47 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

‘The Small Miracle’ Slogan to Push Sri Lanka’s Tourism Ambitions post-LTTE Era

tradenews While the Sri Lankan defence forces are closing in on to stub out LTTE, the internationally banned terrorist organization, the country has already started sending economic feelers to several countries including Belgium. In one such exercise last week, the Sri Lankan Embassy has re-branded its tourism as ‘Sri Lanka: The Small Miracle’ in Belgium at a function that was attended by Christiaan Tanghe, Ambassador of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and Chairman of the Friends of Sri Lanka Group of the European Parliament MEP Geoffrey Van Orden represented the European Union institutions.

Sri Lanka was devastated by terrorism sponsored by the LTTE that demanded separate land carved out of the country for the ethnic Tamil minority of Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population and a large number of them follow Buddhism. Currently, its defence forces are in the final stages of completely wiping out the last bastion of the terror outfit to free the country from the prolonged violence of two decades.

Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union (EU) said the re-branding would encourage foreign tourists to look at Sri Lanka with new eyes and enable the country to position itself as a destination second to none. He added the core idea was to change the perception of the travellers from far-away lands that the country has returned to normalcy where everyone could experience its rich culture and beautiful locales peacefully. He also drew attention to the fact that despite the country had to bear the brunt of terrorism Sri Lanka grew by about 6 percent in recent years, and continued to invite steady flow of foreign investments and tourists.

According to sources, Sri Lanka is planning to launch several promotional programs through print and electronic media to tide over its ‘unsafe’ image abroad. At the re-branding function the state-owned Sri Lankan Airlines launched "Buy One, Get One Free" sales theme targeting the European travellers. The tour operators’ primary focus would be to promote Sri Lanka as a safe tourist destination, and thereby remove it from the list of travel advisories by several countries.

By Jose Roy

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