Mar 19, Colombo: Following the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the different agreement signed with President Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau has launched the Ramayana Trail targeting the Indian market.
“Whilst managing existing products we also want to launch new products so that we keep Sri Lanka Tourism contemporary,” said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau Rohantha Athukorala.
After many meetings with the private sector, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau will jointly launch the Ramayana Trail with top 26 operators in the Indian market where 19 key sites across the country from Ramboda, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Galle, Chilaw and Mannar will be showcased to be part of the Ramayana trail.
“This will see the real impact of peace dividend among the Northern and Eastern provinces which we will bridge the gap between different income groups. It will also link the local community,” commented the President of SLITO Mahen Kariyawasam.
Since the Ramayana Trail connects two cultures of Sri Lanka and India, it makes the new product unique and historical. The overall market size for this new product in India is worth a hundred million plus core customers. Arrival from India is estimated to touch 20,000 in the 1st year and then exponentially grow when traction is achieved. It’s very important to ensure that the special dietary details are looked into this type of traveler, cautioned an industry veteran who was actively involved in the development of the new product.
“In the latter part of April together with the private sector, we will conduct 4 road shows in selected markets together with the Sri Lankan consul general so that we create awareness of the new product and then induce the customers to do their booking in. The private sector is upbeat of this idea given that the Indian market was getting very competitive and crowded,” said Chairman Athukorala.
“The idea of having a basket of packages like 3 day/ 4nights, 5 nights and 7 night hybrid tours will help get an upper middle class Indian travelers to come over to Sri Lanka not only for religious reasons but also for engagement driven tourism. The key thing is ROI based promotions,” voiced the chairman.
The Ramayana Trail goes back to the Sanskrit epic which is closely linked to Hinduism. The Ramayanaya consist of 7 chapters (kanda) where it narrates a story of Rama’s wife Seetha being captured by Ravana, the king of Lanka. People in Sri Lanka through generations believed that King Ravana ruled Sri Lanka as a very dominant and powerful Kings.