Sri Lanka Tourism said last week efforts were underway to launch an integrated five-year Global Communication Campaign’ (GCC), and the deadline for submission of bids has been extended upon request.
All interested parties have been requested to submit their bid proposals following the guidelines stipulated in relevant bidding documents for the three tenders published. Also as requested by the prospective bidders present at the pre-bid meeting held on 24 February, an extension was considered for the submission of bids as follows: Digital Agency – submission of bids extended till 18 March; Creative Agency – submission of bids extended till 23 March, and Campaign Development and Management Unit (CMU) – submission of bids extended till 31 March.
Subsequently, the selection process will be carried out, and the awarding of contracts is expected by end of June, Sri Lanka Tourism added.
It said an integrated global communication campaign is a dream the tourism industry of Sri Lanka had always had but was not able to materialise due to many reasons, such as financial barriers, bureaucratic obstacles, lack of competency and the strategic drive to initiate the project.
However, despite all these hindering factors and barriers, Sri Lanka Tourism has taken a bold step in materialising the long-awaited ‘Global Communication Campaign’ for Sri Lanka. The new normal has made it mandatory for Sri Lanka to launch this campaign to remain competitive in the global tourism market and to capitalise on the first mover advantage of the ‘innovative’ re-opening model adopted by the country, which has been hailed internationally.
The news of the launch of the five-year ‘Global Communication Campaign’ has been taken very well by the industry and is a key milestone and delivery for the Government.
As the first step, the strategic framework was developed based on research and analysis followed by a comprehensive implementation structure design. This process was facilitated by Sri Lanka Tourism partner organisations to include UNDP and MDF (Market Development Facility under Australian Aid). Also supported in the process are PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and the European Union on specific research matters contributing to the framework development.
As part of the implementation structure, a campaign management agency, research agency, digital marketing agency and a creative agency are to be appointed locally and eight destination representative companies (DRCs) in eight key markets and eight public relational companies (PRCs) in eight emerging markets are to be appointed. These DRCs and PRCs will be responsible to implement the communication campaign strategy locally in their respective markets. Thus a 20-agency framework is to be appointed to manage and to deliver the campaign. This framework was proposed after much analysis and debate to avoid the gaps and barriers that prevented Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism from implementing such a holistic global communication campaign.
The methodology adopted will ensure the delivery of the campaign in line with the procurement guidelines and requirements while ensuring the campaign is designed and delivered to benefit the destination and industry as a whole.
The second stage of the project was the development of the RFPs (request for proposals) to secure and to appoint the proposed agency structure to implement the campaign. Of this, the first phase is the development of the local tenders (RFPs) which has now been completed and three tenders to include the creative, digital and campaign management agency tenders already published. The research tender is also to be published in the due course. The second phase is the international tenders (RFPs) for the eight DRCs and eight PRCs.
The already-published tenders were advertised in the national newspapers in all three languages of Sinhala, Tamil and English on 16 February, and a pre-bid meeting was held to enable bidders to voice concerns and questions regarding the bidding document and the bidding process and to understand the requirements of the campaign scope on the 24 February at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
The meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism Kimarli Fernando, who is also the Chair of the Cabinet-appointed technical committee for the global communication campaign.