Memorable lifetime experiences—not sun, sea and sand—‘key to attracting more tourists to Sri Lanka’


Memorable lifetime experiences and not sun, sea and sand are the key to attracting more and more tourists to Sri Lanka, says a leading hospitality-branding specialist.

Sunday Times business editor Feizal Sampath reports QUO founder David Keen as saying that “we need to think about how tourism would emerge in the future and how it would be perceived”.

“Today … no country, no nation should be defined as sun, sea and sand … particularly the Maldives or Sri Lanka.”


Keen has previously stressed that “the new mantra is experiences, and creating one to suit each client, individually and separately”.

During a recent visit to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo he said that “nation branding has to be defined by the people, by the infrastructure, by the technology”.

“It’s the people of the nation that defines its beauty, the culture, and the warmth … that’s the way a destination is defined.”


Asks Sampath: “So if people are no more looking for sun, sea or sand in the Maldives or Sri Lanka, what are today’s travellers seeking and what are the brands doing to meet the needs of the new-age traveller?”

Says Keen: “When a 35 year-old Sri Lankan professional plans a trip he is looking for a particular experience that would differ if he is accompanied by the family and a 3-year old kid, for instance.

“We call this a typology… We create brands for typologies and then the marketing team in the resort will create a package for that segment.”

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