Financial Times

Sri Lanka tourism cashing in on peace


Sri Lanka tourism is getting ready to ride the crest of the peace wave. The industry that had hit rock bottom a few days back is gearing for a major comeback and is expecting tourism numbers to cross the 500,000 threshold at the end of 2009. On Friday, the tourism authorities announced an international campaign chiefly targeting six major tourism source markets.

“We are launching an international campaign in the third week of June that will go on until the end of the year. This will mainly target the UK, France, Germany, Russia, the Middle East and India,” said the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Bernard Goonatilake.

“Sri Lanka can no longer be listed as a country at war. This will make a huge difference if we can get the message out to the world. I am confident that this year, inclusive of winter arrivals, we can exceed 500,000 arrivals,” said the Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, K A D George Michael.

The tourism authorities will hold talks with ambassadors of foreign countries within the next few weeks, to push for the removal of travel advisories against Sri Lanka. The government has also given priority for tourism development in the East.

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