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Number of tourists enjoying Sri Lanka tours to wildlife parks doubles

The number of tourist enjoying Sri Lanka tours to the country's beautiful national parks has doubled this year, according to Chandrawansa Pathiraja, the Director General of Botanical Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Department.

Number of tourists enjoying Sri Lanka tours to wildlife parks doubles

The number of Sri Lanka tours being enjoyed by foreign travellers to the island's national parks has doubled this year.

According to Chandrawansa Pathiraja, the Director General of Botanical Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Department, just nine percent of tourists usually take Sri Lanka tours of the national parks, but this January saw an increase with 20 percent of travellers visiting the wildlife parks.

Pathiraja said that the increase in Sri Lanka tours has been helped by the end of the island's civil war last year which has allowed many travellers feel safer travelling to the region.

All national parks on the island are currently open to visitors without any restrictions and the government has started a programme to upgrade the facilities in the Sri Lanka's wildlife parks to help attract more visitors and nature enthusiasts.

Pathiraja added that some areas in the north of the island nation would be developed into wildlife parks including Chundikulam, Nayaru, and Kokilai and the only wildlife park set upon a separate island, Pigeon Island in Trincomallee, would be open to tourists enjoying Sri Lanka tours soon.

According to tourist board sources, during the last three decades and conflict period, Sri Lanka has maintained 500,000 tourists enjoying Sri Lanka holidays on average annually and the government is expecting 765,000 tourists by 2011 and 2.5 million by 2016, now that the civil war has reached an end.

Pathiraja said that the island is expecting 600,000 travellers to visit Sri Lanka by the end of December this year with 120,000 of them enjoying Sri Lanka tours at the numerous wildlife parks.

Sri Lanka is an island nation situated in the India Ocean, South Asia, 31 kilometres off the south coast of India. The country is home to beautiful beaches, mountainous terrain, tropical forests and a tropical climate. Travellers visiting nature and wildlife parks on the island can catch sightings of deer, elephants, peacocks, pelicans, storks and the national Sri Lanka Junglefowl bird which is native to the island.

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