Embassy worker in project to boost tourism


An investment project to enhance tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka by 25 per cent is being promoted by a worker of the country’s embassy in Washington.

Steen Hedges, who handles public relations at the Sri Lanka mission, has teamed up with Michael Lutzky to be partners of Sapphire Travel Pvt Ltd.

They made their debut as a ‘foreign investor’ at Swiss-Sri Lanka Business and Investment Forum held in Geneva and Zurich on June 11 and 12.

The events were organised by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin, Germany in co-ordination with the Swiss Asian Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland. The initiative, an embassy statement said, was to “showcase Sri Lanka’s investment and trade potentials to Swiss-based industrialists, financial houses and businessmen after the end of the long conflict in the island.”
Other reports from Washington say the travel firm was also planning to venture into other fields. One such deal, the Sunday Times learns, is the lease of Boeing aircraft for SriLankan Airlines. The same reports say besides the two partners, some prominent Sri Lankans were also behind the travel venture.

Last year, some 25,000 US tourists visited Sri Lanka as against 19,000 in 2010. This is in marked contrast to some 300,000 US tourists arriving in India.

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