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SL Tourism begins search for agency to handle 5-year global digital blitz

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Sri Lanka Tourism has kicked off the search for a reputed and competent agency to handle a planned five-year global promotion on digital platforms, to woo more visitors despite COVID-19 challenges.

The Tourism Ministry Standing Cabinet-appointed Procurement Committee Chairman has called for bid proposals from agencies for a ‘Digital Marketing Company for Social Media and Other Forms of Online and Digital Marketing’ as well as for a ‘Campaign Development and Management Unit,’ to facilitate the Global Communication Campaign 2021-2025 of Sri Lanka Tourism on behalf of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).

The objective of the proposed integrated global marketing blitz is to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and to achieve the national target of the sector.

The maximum total contract value over the period of five years for the ‘Digital Marketing Company for Social Media and Other Forms of Online and Digital Marketing’ will be Rs. 250 million, whilst for the ‘Campaign Development and Management Unit’ it will be Rs. 500 million, and the required funds will be allocated through SLTPB.

A pre-bid meeting in this regard will be held tomorrow (24) at 3. 30 p.m. at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management (SLITHM) Board Room and will be open for interested bidders to join the session in person. The bidding process for both units will be conducted adopting National Competitive Bidding Methods. The Ministry has categorically stated that the selected bidder must not have been blacklisted in terms of the provisions of the Government Procurement Procedure – 2006.

Effective global promotion has been a long felt need for the tourism industry since Sri Lanka last had a concerted exercise over six years ago.

Last week, meeting industry leaders President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assured all of the Government’s support highlighting the tourism sector as a vital component of the national economy. He also called on industry entrepreneurs to get ready to embark on a new journey of overcoming challenges to revive the sector.

Separately, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga last week appointed a nine-member, high-powered Steering Committee for Strategic Management of Global Promotional Campaign.

The committee is tasked with ensuring a successful global campaign to promote Sri Lanka Tourism by providing the necessary advice to SLTPB for the planning and monitoring process of the campaign.

Industry leaders welcomed the move, claiming that there had been no proper global destination promotions over the past six years.

As per Sri Lanka Tourism sources, prospective bidders for the ‘Digital Marketing Company for Social Media and Other Forms of Online and Digital Marketing’ should be duly registered as a legal entity, and have an operational office in Sri Lanka with minimum five years of experience in social media and other forms of online and digital marketing.

The firm should also have proven track records in handling a minimum of three accounts on social media and other forms of online and digital marketing worth over Rs. 50 million (each project) for local or international clients during the past five years. In addition, the company should have minimum annual turnover of Rs. 50 million over the past three years.

For the ‘Digital Marketing Company for Social Media and Other Forms of Online and Digital Marketing’, all bids must be delivered or deposited in the tender box of the Finance Division at SLTPB Head Office in Colombo 03 at or before 2 p.m. on 12 March.

The ‘Campaign Development and Management Unit’ will serve as the campaign manager to develop and deliver the Global Communication Campaign 2021-2025, in collaboration with Destination Management Companies (DMCs), a Creative Agency and a Digital Agency on behalf of SLTPB.

Prospective bidders for the ‘Campaign Development and Management Unit’ should also be duly registered as a legal entity, having an operational office; or joint ventures that were duly registered and have an operational office in Sri Lanka; or that intended to enter into such an agreement supported by a letter of intent. The firm should have a minimum of 10 years of experience in Project Management specialised in project planning, monitoring, execution and performance evaluation, and in case of joint ventures 10 years’ experience in project management specialised in project planning monitoring, execution and performance evaluation for the lead partner and seven years’ experience for the other partner/s.

It also requires a proven track record in handling a minimum of three accounts in strategy development, marketing and/or tourism related projects of the value of over Rs. 100 million (each project) for local or international clients during the past five years, and in case of joint ventures particular experience could be proved jointly.

The firm should have a minimum annual turnover of Rs. 100 million during the past three years, and in case of a joint venture Rs. 100 million for the lead partner and Rs. 50 million for the other partners.

For the ‘Campaign Development and Management Unit’ all bids must be delivered or deposited in the tender box of the Finance Division at SLTPB Head Office in Colombo 03 at or before 2 p.m. on 22 March.

Interested and eligible bidders may obtain further information from SLTPB Managing Director and inspect the bidding document by sending a request to gcc2021@srilanka.travel or by visiting its Finance Division at the Head Office in Colombo 03, except on weekends and public holidays. Bidding documents for ‘Digital Marketing Company for Social Media and Other Forms of Online and Digital Marketing’ can be inspected until 8 March, and for ‘Campaign Development and Management Unit’ it can be viewed until 16 March.

Bids will be opened immediately after the bid closing time in presence of the bidder’s representatives who choose to attend in person.

By Charumini de Silva | ft.lk

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