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DateLine Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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London cabs to promote Lanka



A Sri Lankan promotional taxi near the famous London Eye

The London Branch of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau activated a campaign under the rebranding exercise at key destinations world over, where 27 taxi cabs were branded with images depicting Sri Lanka.

The creative execution depicts the new branding that will advertise the resplendent isle throughout the world.

This campaign was facilitated by Cabvert, the company which is promoting its own brand of Cabvertising, which includes the utilization of the exterior as well as interior of cabs.

Previous research suggests that on average 152 people per day travel in a taxi cab, and one can conclude that for every passenger travelling in each cab, the cab is viewed at least 250 times more, said Director, UK and Ireland, of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sanjika Perera.

Taxi advertisements are easier to read because they are eye-level, he added. Based on the above figures each cab will carry an average of 54,112 passengers per year giving the opportunity to have direct access to a captive audience and thus promote Sri Lanka, with a highly personal touch.

In addition to branding the cabs, Sri Lanka Tourism had an information session with the drivers enabling them to discuss the destination with passengers.

This gives a favourable advantage as research indicates that over 85% of the population speaks to the taxi driver on a journey.

Creating the demand for the destination is the need of the hour and such campaigns are considered to be of high impact, but low cost. The new strategy is to increase the demand and awareness for the destination and there are several plans to launch innovative advertising campaigns in the key markets, in the near future.


Laugfs to consolidate on tourism



Temple Tree Resort at Induruwa

Couple dining on the hotel beach

Tourism, the largest industry in the world will play a major role in the local economy and Laugfs management would make further inroads to the industry.

Director/CEO, Laugfs Leisure Limited, Harsha Gamage said that they saw the potential in the industry and took over the management of Temple Tree Resorts Induruwa at the end of last year.

“This is our second investment in the industry and presently we are building a boutique hotel in Panama, Puttalam,” he said. Laugfs is in the service industry and had already made investment in three restaurants in Jubilee Post, Maharagama and Negombo.

The Temple Tree hotel was built with an investment of over Rs. 300 million in 2007 by a Sri Lankan, now living in Germany as a designer boutique hotel.

He said that with the peace on the horizon there would be more arrivals and the country needs additional rooms to accommodate them. “We are also targeting the high spending clientele,” he said.

The Temple Tree Hotel offers nine large rooms and the Araliya suite with cable TV, LCD TV, DVD, mainly targeting the up market clientele who prefer privacy and luxury.

“The personalized services of the Chef would personally take the meal order and the Spa facility which are major attractions of the hotel,” he said.

“We would also introduce additional facilities to the Spa as there is a demand from local and foreign clientele.”

The hotel is already popular among embassy staff and long stay Europeans and in a bid to attract the local market is offering special packages until the end of April.

“We are entering in to Email marketing and property is also marketed through the Laugfs Super market in Havelock Town for Sri Lankans,” he added. The hotel is also gaining popularity as a honey moon destination both locally and internationally.

The property was first marketed at the World Tourism Market last November in London.

The architect of the hotel who also designed ‘The beach’ Negombo and ‘Tropical Villas’ Aluthgama said that one of the unique features of this hotel is the additional luxury that had been craved in.

“Open concept, peace and privacy are hall markets of the property. From all points of the room gusts could see the Indian Ocean and there is space to unwind in the room,” he said.

- SS


Chinese Chef for Airport Garden

Airport Garden Hotel (AGH) has employed a Chinese Chef, flown in from Shchuan Province, China for the Chinese New Year celebrations.


Chef Y. Xiyuon

General Manager of the Hotel, Thomas Mather said that the chef will prepare authentic Chinese food at their Golden Dragon restaurant for the guests specially employed in the Export Processing Zone (FTZ) in Katunayake.

He said that Chef, Y. Xiyuon has also installed Chinese lanterns at the restaurant and special lighting to brighten the atmosphere. “In addition to Chinese nationals in the FTZ the event is also attracting Sri Lankan clients,” he said.

“Manchurian, Sizzling prawn, Singapore Chinese fried rice, and double fried pork, crispy lamb and noodles introduced by the Chinese the world over are some of the much sought after Chinese dishes from both Chinese and Sri Lankans” he said. “Colour, aroma and flavour are not only the key elements of our cuisines. Nutrition too is also a priority.

These foods are made with traditional ingredients such as bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, Chinese cabbage, black mushroom, button and straw mushrooms.

Celebrated in areas with a large population of ethnic Chinese, the Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese, and has had an influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction.

The New Year celebrations at the Golden Dragon restaurant will continue till February 15.

- LE


Emirates special fares



The Presidential Awards Ceremony for Travel and Tourism was held at the BMICH, recently where Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort- Wadduwa won the Best Award for Ayurveda Tourism in Sri Lanka. Here the Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka presenting the Award to the Chairman of Hettigoda Group of Companies Dr. Victor Hettigoda. Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda and Arjuna Ranatunga were also present.

Dubai based international airline has unveiled special fares to eight destinations in North America, Europe and Asia making travel instantly more affordable for Lankan passengers.

The destinations covered by these special fares which are valid till March 31, are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Toronto, London, Milan and Singapore.

“These are timely value-for-money offers that enable travellers to experience Emirates services to some of the most popular destinations for travellers out of Sri Lanka,” said Emirate’s Sales Manager Devika Ellepola. “Our customers continue to book with us not only because we offer competitive airfares but also because we offer a large international network, convenient connections and an award-winning, high quality service.”

She said all travel on these special fares would also accrue Skywards Miles from the airline’s frequent flyer program, adding more value to the offer. Emirates passengers would be offered more packages. To be eligible for these offers, reservations and ticketing must be completed by February 28.

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