Sri Lanka must take cue from Maldives’ tourism tactic: Sunday Times

Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times reviews successes and risks in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, highlighting the Maldives as an example of successful marketing in a tight economy.

“Sri Lanka could take a cue from the Maldives where active promotion in going on to promote the destination, additionally now as a mid-market destination, from a high-end location. Resorts in the Maldives charges rates from US$200-300 upwards to over $1000 per night, and the authorities are now looking to attract the mid-market clientele which is also Sri Lanka’s market – though the two markets have different attractions.”

Adverse publicity is a weakness for Sri Lankan tourism, the Times noted, citing the Maldives as an example of proactive marketing in a time of change.

“[The Maldives] islands are attracting thousands of Chinese, which has made China the biggest source market for the Maldives in the past two years. According to one travel agent in the Maldives, ‘every agent is scrambling to get a slice of the Chinese market.’ The Chinese are seen as the biggest tourism source market of the world while India is also becoming a huge travel market. Sri Lankan hotels are still western-oriented with a few frills to meet the needs of other travellers.”

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