Sri Lanka urges Kuoni to improve destination content

Sri Lanka urges Kuoni to improve destination content

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has called on Kuoni to improve destination content on its website and Facebook page to improve conversion rates.

Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said the last mention of Sri Lanka on the tour operator’s Facebook  page was on March 25.

He called for more photographs, videos of experiences and new products, as well as detailed descriptions on Kuoni’s website.

Speaking at Kuoni’s first summit for independent agents, he said: “I would like to see it [the website] say ‘the world’s number one destination for whale watching’ so that we become relevant as a destination.

“Rather than generic photographs, I’d like to see a picture of the beach ranked best in the world by National Geographic.

“I'd like to see the digital space updated and more conversions.”

The call follows a restructure of the tourist board following the introduction of a new government in January and comes as it invests significantly into online advertising.

Kuoni's head of trade sales Amanda Darrington said the views would be fed back to the company's marketing team but stressed its focus was on “click and connect” – linking clients or agents with destination experts via its site – rather than “online order taking”.

She admitted not all the requests may be deliverable. “We want to showcase the destinations from the customer’s view point; it’s about finding the right balance.”

The operator features 88 countries and does ‘one or two’ Facebook posts a day, according to Kuoni head of purchasing Alex Gavalda.

Sri Lanka is in Kuoni’s top five destinations. Of the 145,000 UK visitors in 2014, Kuoni represented a ‘high proportion’ of package bookings, he said.

Gavalda said marketing support from Sri Lanka, prior to the new government, had been “a bit of a struggle”. 

“I am glad it’s changing, but we are also focused on quality not volumes,” he added.

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