With over Rs. 2.1 Billion worth of travel leads generated in the last three months alone, Sri Lanka Tourism was a well-deserved winner of the e-Swabhimani Award for its one-of-a-kind Travel Inquiry Management System.
Sri Lanka Tourism bagged this award under the Public Sector category at the e-Swabhimani Award 2018 organized by the Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) which was held on the 29th of November at the Galle Face Hotel.
“The Travel Inquiry Management System (TIMS) is a unique platform designed by the Tourism Authority for travel agents and it is one of its kind in the world,” said Udana Wickremasinghe, Director of ICT at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. “The platform drives businesses to travel agents as travel leads. This reduces the lead acquisition cost for Sri Lanka and amplifies the requests from travellers who wish to visit the country.”
All agents listed here are registered under the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority which ensures that the agents renew their license in a timely manner since the platform is connected to an SLTDA licensing platform. The platform has no levy or fee for registration.
The TIMS fulfills a void in the burgeoning tourism industry in Sri Lanka which needs to increase its tourist arrivals to meet targets. As such the digital services that are innovative and enticing enough to engage particularly the millennial are quintessential.
According to the TIMs process, all visitors to the www.srilanka.travel (national travel portal) site are prompted to use the platform before leaving the webpage. All registered travel agents with updated license will receive inquiries and only the fastest 6 responses will be shown to the traveller. The traveller is free to resubmit their query should they wish to see more options.
A review system is connected to the platform for travelers to leave an online review about the service by the travel agents. “So far SLTDA has received positive responses from travel agents, without any complaints from traveler’s either.” he said.
The TIMS has a user-friendly customer interface which is easy to navigate. The agents on the other hand receive the requests and inquiries on the dashboard which they are promoted to respond to instantaneously.
TIMS employs a creative strategy to tap into the many growing tourist segments to Sri Lanka. It has been shown that Sri Lanka is favored among travelers who intend on travelling to the island within a three to six-month time frame. Sri Lanka tourism has been able to hone into this aspect by targeting the right traveller segment by analyzing their digital behavior through the Google Advertising platforms, and working together with the google team in Singapore.
The TIMS also allows travellers to select the destination based on themes such as wildlife, beaches. The team behind TIMS plans to have the system in French, German, Chinese languages which will simply the process further.
Sri Lanka Tourism was represented by Udana Wickremasinghe, Director ICT, Hirosh de Silva and Chandana Munasinghe.