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SriLankan Airlines provides extensive publicity for Sri Lanka through foreign media

SriLankan Airlines provides extensive publicity for Sri Lanka through foreign media ( SriLankan Airlines has obtained wide publicity for Sri Lanka as a tourist destination, by organising visits by more than one hundred journalists and travel writers in 2007 from the country’s major tourism generating nations.

Chandana De Silva, Head of Corporate Communications at SriLankan, said: “The visits of these journalists are an important part of the numerous efforts of SriLankan Airlines to support Sri Lanka as a global tourism destination. They are invited and brought to Sri Lanka at the airline’s expense, not only to write about the airline, but to provide valuable publicity for the country.”

Journalists on familiarisation tours typically spend a week in the island, with the airline organising visits to the southern beach resorts, the mountain region of Nuwara Eliya, and cultural areas such as Dambulla, Sigiriya and Kandy. They also spend some time in Colombo, where they are shown the attractions of the capital, including its value-for-money shopping areas.

Ruvini Jayasinghe, Manager Media Relations, said: “We obtain the maximum publicity from these visits by choosing specialist travel writers and sports journalists from the most widely circulated magazines, newspapers, and electronic media. We are assisted in this by our PR agencies in target markets, and staff in our ticket offices around the world.”

The airline’s tours for journalists have also increased in sophistication, as well as numbers. It now organises tours for specialised writers who cover niche areas such as spa & wellness tourism, boutique hotels, adventure tourism, and wildlife.

Ruvini Jayasinghe added: “All our tours for media persons are geared specifically to promote the destination as well as the airline. For example, those who cover the airline’s events are given a complimentary tour of the country if they are first-timers to Sri Lanka. Their reports include as much or more about the country as about our event and the airline.”

In October alone, the airline hosted 63 media persons from Germany, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, France, Japan, UK, India, Bahrain, Malaysia, Oman and Dubai.

They included 43 who covered the SriLankan Golf Classic at the Victoria Golf & Country Club. There was also a group of six from Oman, another eight from Coimbatore to coincide with the launch of the airline’s services there; and half a dozen from Dubai in a joint effort with Sri Lanka Tourism. November saw visits by journalists from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

The airline’s other international events, such as the Singer-SriLankan Rugby Sevens and its Surfing Competitions, also draw foreign media personnel to the island.

“We greatly appreciate the assistance of Sri Lanka Tourism and the country’s hotel and travel industries in organising these visits, which are of immense value to the country, especially when it comes to countering the negative publicity that the island sometimes receives,” said Chandana De Silva.

About SriLankan Airlines

SriLankan Airlines first started its operations as Air Lanka in 1979 with initial management assistance from Singapore Airlines. Its present strategic partner is Emirates, the award-winning international airline of the UAE, which holds a 49% stake in SriLankan Airlines. The Sri Lanka national carrier has a route network spanning 54 destinations in 28 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Far East, and carries more than 2 million passengers a year to various parts of the globe.

Issued on behalf of SriLankan Airlines:
Jasmin Tay
Mileage Communications Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6222-1678 Fax: (65) 6222-5378

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