Sri Lanka hires MS&L to win back tourists

The Sri Lankan government has picked Manning Selvage and Lee to manage a pounds 3 million communications programme aimed at promoting inward investment and tourism in the country.

The Sri Lankan government has picked Manning Selvage and Lee to

manage a pounds 3 million communications programme aimed at promoting

inward investment and tourism in the country.



Plans for an image building programme were revealed by the government

early last year when the Board of Investment approached

Burson-Marsteller and other firms about a campaign to boost foreign

investment. The brief was then expanded after the Ministry of Tourism,

the Sri Lanka Tea Board and other organisations joined the consortium to

back the project.



Seven agencies submitted tenders and four were eventually shortlisted:

MS&L, The Rowland Company, Hill and Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.



Appointed last week, MS&L will handle a media relations programme

designed to shed Sri Lanka’s reputation as a war zone. Investment

confidence and the tourism industry have been badly hit by 14 years of

conflict between government forces and separatist Tamil Tigers in the

north and east of the country.



Manning Selvage and Lee director Alasdair Sutherland said that the

agency will stress that most violence occurs on the Jaffna peninsular

and away from tourist districts and the capital Colombo. ’We hope to

demonstrate that the government is doing everything it can to resolve

the problem, that the terrorists only represent a small minority and to

sell the magic of Sri Lanka,’ he said.



Work will focus on Sri Lanka’s main tourism markets -Germany, the UK and

India - will additional assignments in South Korea and Japan.



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