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Sri Lanka prepares for increase in tourist numbers over next 5 years

  • 25-Oct-10 10:33
  • Sri Lanka
  • The Independent Travel

The number of travellers taking Sri Lanka holidays has significantly increased since the end of the civil war, and the boost in international visitor arrivals to the island-nation is set to increase even more over the next five years.

Sri Lanka prepares for increase in tourist numbers over next 5 years

Since the civil war in Sri Lanka reached an end in 2009, the island-nation has seen a welcomed boost in visitor arrivals and international tourists enjoying Sri Lanka holidays and the country is preparing for further growth over the next five years.

Travellers are once again booking their holidays in Sri Lanka now that the security situation has changed and the Sri Lankan government has announced that they are planning to welcome 2.5 million visitors to the island annually and a series of new Sri Lanka hotels with an extra 25,000 rooms by 2016.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association has predicted that approximately 500,000 tourists will enjoy Sri Lanka holidays by the end of 2010. On its website this week, the PATA commented: "With an end to its civil war, Sri Lanka has now entered a period of relative peace and political stability and international visitors are responding with strong demand. Actual arrivals are well above the forecast for 2010 as at August."

The New York Times listed Sri Lanka as number one in the "31 places to visit in 2010" and National Geographic rated it as the second best island to visit in the world.

Sri Lanka Minister for Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa, said that the country's tourism is expanding rapidly and he hopes that expat Sri Lankan would help promote the island-nation all over the world.

"This is an opportunity for expatriate Sri Lankans holding other citizenships, living overseas, to visit the island and bring along their friends from those countries. They will appreciate that they can visit the country without any fear for their safety and I invite them all to enjoy what Sri Lanka can offer."

Rajapaksa added that Sri Lanka was also improving its beautiful national wildlife parks and zoos as well as adding further recreation facilities and hotels for visitors.

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