The Tourism Development Ministry has decided to re-tender the global promotion campaign following a discussion with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week along with officials of the Attorney General’s Department.
Accordingly, the crucial short-term global marketing and public relations campaign to revive Sri Lanka’s image will now go for a fresh and proper tender process. If the new initiative takes a longer time than is anticipated, the two-month PR campaign is likely to be dropped, given the ineffectiveness of a delayed exercise post-Easter Sunday. However, as an alternative, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has stepped up exposure on CNN.
In terms of the CNN television campaign, SLTPB is now looking at a three-month window with an investment of $300,000.
“We have received a proposal from SLTPB to promote our destination on CNN for three months at a cost of $300,000. We will soon call for a discussion with the SLTPB officials and decide on it,” Tourism Development Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi told the Daily FT.
He said they hope to finalise the CNN campaign within the next week and the promotional blitz could go live as soon as it gets Cabinet approval.
Another idea that is being discussed is the individual destination campaign, which doesn’t require big budgets and time-consuming approvals.
Previously, sans a competitive process, JWT was awarded the two tasks as an extension of its original contract, which led to the launch of the ‘So Sri Lanka’ broader destination campaign. This move irked certain sections of the industry, which raised concerns over the lack of transparency. The JWT too wanted the approval properly sanctioned by the Government, though it was approved originally by the Cabinet.
The Attorney General›s Department opined that the award for JWT lacked proper pursuit of Government procurement regulations.