Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance returned with the 6th edition of its Resilience Webinar series aptly titled ‘How to Attract and Gain Repeat Local Visitors Right Now’ featuring a panel consisting of industry experts, Jerome Auvity, Director Operations, Jetwing Hotels, Rajiv Welikala, Manager, Classic Destinations (Pvt) Ltd and Niranka T. Perera, chairman and CEO, Antyra Solutions as well as new entrant Dilshan Rabbie, Co-founder, Ceylon Haven who shared some immensely insightful learnings from their experience of engaging with the domestic market.
Sharing key learnings from the past three months Niranka stated that there was a notable spike in booking demand as soon as the lockdown was lifted in June 2020 possibly fueled by pent up demand and heavy discounts offered by local properties. This trend has slowed down in recent months with data indicating a 36% decline in bookings from June to August 2020.
While discounting has worked to some extent during this period the sustainability of the discounting approach remains questionable especially given that the tourism industry would need to survive on domestic travel for considerably longer than initially anticipated.
In this context targeting the existing local client base with specially curated experiences remains as important as ever. Rajiv and the team at Classic Sri Lanka have understood that the Sri Lankan audience sees value in paying full price for a well organised, interesting, hosted experience that is specially curated for them. As a result, Classic Sri Lanka has not felt the need to offer discounts for any of its tours. Instead, the team’s focus has been on curating different types of experiences that are appealing to multiple segments of the local audience, and ensuring that they are hosted by experts on the subject matter.
It is also important to utilise this time to better understand the many segments within the domestic market and tailor make packages and messages for each segment. Businesses need to think local and pay attention to the nuances and preferences of different types of travellers within the domestic market. Dilshan highlights that one of the key aspects Ceylon Haven emphasises on is personalization. A concept that is possibly rather new to the local market. When it comes to the domestic market, local operators have always gone with standard options that are pre-made and off the shelf. Hardly any effort has been made to create opportunities specifically for local travellers. Ceylon Haven looks at personalisation in myriad ways, from tailor made menus for each group to special amenities based on the needs of the individuals within the group. Every conversation that a potential client has with the brand is a personalised one.
The Jetwing Group attributes 25% of its overall audience to the domestic market. The group has always considered the domestic market important, and has made an effort over the years to cater to this market with special offers and packages. According to Jerome, Jetwing has used this time to create different types of experiences for local guests who visit its properties. The group has developed experiences for each hotel, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the special brand of hospitality offered by Jetwing. Another interesting offer being promoted by Jetwing is a curated tour of one or more destinations, hosted by Hiran Cooray. The response for these tours has been phenomenal, indicating that having a recognisable and expert host makes an experience that much more attractive to a local audience.
Seylan Bank offers amazing discounts for Avurudu
With Avurudu just around the corner, Seylan Bank PLC is offering amazing discounts to customers purchasing daily essentials, electronics, clothing, gifts, and more. The bank with a heart will celebrate the New Year with “Ratatama Super, Avurudu Offers with Seylan Cards” and “Seylan Tikiri – Season of Gifts and Laughter”.
The bank with a heart, commenced these exciting offers and promotions to provide the best Avurudu experience to its customers young and old, and to reward them for their continued loyalty to the bank, in the spirit of festivity.
“At Seylan Bank, we want to make your Avurudu an unforgettable experience,” said Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. “These two promotions underscore our customer-centric approach which focuses on providing products and services that enhance the overall customer experience and convenience, adding value to your experience with the Bank with a Heart.”
The Bank has partnered with leading supermarket chains on selected promotions; with Keells offering 30% off on fresh meat during the weekends, Cargills providing 20% off on total bills during selected weekends, Glomark offering 20% off on the total bill on every Sunday for a limited time, Laugfs Super providing 20% off on a range of goods on every Monday for a limited time, and Premasiri Supermarket offering 20% off on vegetables & 10% off on fruits on every Wednesday & Thursday during the promotion period.
OPPO launches Avurudu song to spread seasonal cheer
OPPO recently launched an Avurudu jingle ahead of the Sinhalese & Tamil New year. Sung by OPPO brand ambassador & The Voice coach Umaria Sinhawamsa, the song also features popular personalities including actor& singer Gayan Gunawardena and choreographer Ramod Malaka& his dance troupe, Cool Steps.
The visual for the song has been shot in a scenic village atmosphere & features a host of New Year traditions of great cultural significance. The video also features the newly launched fan-favorite OPPO F19 Pro which is on offer during the season. On the first day of sales alone, the F19 Pro recorded a 200% increase in sales compared to its predecessor F17 Pro.
CEO of OPPO Sri Lanka Bob Li said: “This project helped us to immerse into Sri Lankan culture better. In keeping with the spirit of the season, evolving & upgrading, OPPO has launched two concurrent promotions: ERABADU WASI from 2-13 April & OPPO SERVICE WASI from 5 – 18 April.”
SLIM elects new president and EXCO at 51st AGM
The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st AGM, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd president. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.
The AGM was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.
Thilanka currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:
SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970.
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