Sri Lanka launches major tourism promotion campaign on CNN

Sri Lanka has launched a major tourism promotion campaign on CNN, a global television network.

Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga said the Government is looking forward to showcasing the hidden gems of Sri Lanka that are beautiful and undiscovered.

“We want the world to witness the culture and heritage that Sri Lanka nurtures. Our association with CNN International is a great step towards showcasing the cultural ethos of Sri Lanka through varied platforms that this partnership comprises. Through Great Big Story’s compelling story telling we are looking forward to reaching out to diverse audiences worldwide,” he said.

The CNN global network is scheduled to air over 1,500 commercial spots during the three-month campaign at peak and off-peak times. The commercial spots done for Sri Lanka Tourism will highlight the diversity of the destination based on scenery, wildlife and culture.

The CNN editorials are based on 60 second vacation videos about the destination focusing on beaches, surfing and the city of Colombo. These commercials will also be aired on airport networks in order to attract tourists and travelers.

“We’re having an integrated promotional campaign, with a blend of bloggers programme for higher spenders in the digital space, media press releases in the overseas market, adverts in leading travel magazines, in the top 12 markets. Apart from that, below the line campaigning in major travel fairs, and the recent launch being the MasterCard campaign in India and the CNN global campaign,’’ Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said.

The campaign, with a promotional value of $625,000 will include TV commercials and editorials that will extend to multiple social media platforms through CNN’s “Great Big Story’’ which is under the editorial segment. This collaboration with the international media giant is an interim measure until the digital campaign and the global campaign comes on board.

The ‘Great Big Story’ is CNN’s social media arm, available on a large number of social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and twitter. Focused on cinematic storytelling, GBS will depict Sri Lanka’s natural and cultural wonders, showcasing the diversity of Sri Lanka in every aspect.

In this three-part mini-series, the Great Big Story features 3 important cultural and natural aspects of Sri Lanka; the historic city of Dambulla, known for its cave temple complex, the fire dancers, and the Mangrove Master. While the video on Dambulla has already been featured on air, the other two areas will be featured in due course. GBS is expected to reach over 800,000 viewers during the 3-month campaign period.

Commenting on the campaign, CNN International’s Senior Vice President Advertising and Sales, Sunita Rajan said “We are thrilled to join hands with Sri Lanka Tourism to far, to create an exhilarating nation branding campaign. Our key focus is to produce engaging content that brings Sri Lanka’s travel experiences to life. The power of this collaboration lies in rich storytelling, adept branded content, clever targeting and the engagement that CNN and Great Big Story has with its audience.” (Colombo Gazette)


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