Sri Lanka tourism authorities are focusing on the development of the wellness sector after identifying it as a catalyst for tourism growth while making use of a Euro 3.5 million grant offered By EU to help recover from the current Covid-19 crisis.
The grant utilisation criteria communicated to the Government by the EU included support to SME''s and Wellness Tourism, including Ayurveda and indigenous medicine.
The EU has had an ongoing development programme for the Wellness sector in Sri Lanka for several years.
Several Sri Lankan companies have already made their presence in European countries promoting and marketing the local ayurveda system of medicine.
One such local firm, Spa Ceylon has reaffirmed its position as the world’s largest luxury Ayurveda chain, with their 100th store recently opening in Lisbon, Portugal, followed by the 101st in Warsaw, Poland and 102nd in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Spa Ceylon’s 102 branded stores and shop-in-shop outlets are located in high traffic luxury shopping malls and premium retail areas, situated in more than 50 cities in 20.
Spa Ceylon Co-founder and Managing Director Shiwantha Dias said over the next 12 months, store openings in existing markets will include St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg in Russia; with new market store openings and seasonal pop ups planned in London, England Paris, France; Berlin, Germany and Vienna in Austria.
Spa Ceylon’s seamless omni-channel marketing strategy combines uniquely curated physical and virtual stores, with Ceylon inspired design, imagery and brand content, contributing to a persuasive digital footprint.
Today the brand boasts a strong social media and digital presence, with country specific single-brand e-commerce platforms operating globally.
Further expansion of the brands online reach will see the opening of dedicated Spa Ceylon flagship stores on the world’s leading E-commerce sites, including China’s T-Mall and Amazon USA.
Dhammika Wijayasinghe, Director-General SLTDA stated ''Product development will be led by the private sector who is already in this segment.
With Sri Lanka''s success in battling COVID-19 due in part to indigenous medicine as well as the fact that Wellness tourism is the fastest-growing sector globally, with indigenous cures highly prized by Western travellers, focusing on this area will yield dividends.
Currently, Sri Lanka Tourism is working with the Ministry of Health to finalise regulations relating to Ayurveda and indigenous medicine and capacity building.
Thereafter a product development and promotional campaign will be launched. The EDB has in place a national strategy for wellness and Sri Lanka Tourism will coordinate with them.