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Sri Lanka records more than two millions international visitors in 2016

Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka exceeded the two million target in 2016, according to John Amaratunga, the country’s Tourism Development Minister. The island received more 2.2 million visitors in the last 12 months, and the Minister is expecting more than $3.5 billion in revenues generated by tourism. Arrivals in November, 2015 increased by 16 per cent compared to the same month in 2015.

Sri Lanka records more than two millions international visitors in 2016

Visitor arrivals to Sri Lanka surpassed the predicted target of two million in 2016, according to the country’s Tourism Development Minister, John Amaratunga. More than 2.2 million international tourists visited the island nation last year.

The country is expected to have received more than $ 3.5 billion in tourism revenues. This year, the minister says the country is expecting revenues of $ 4.5 billion, and 2.5 million international tourist arrivals.

Tourism is progressing and within the next three years the sector will be the top foreign exchange earner,”

stated John Amaratunga.

“We expect to do better this year despite the partial closure of the airport for about three months, from 6 January to 5 April. That’s a tremendous setback because it will be the height of the tourist season.”

Visitor numbers to the nation in November last year increased by 16 per cent to a total of 167,217 arrivals, compared to the same month in 2015, and in December, 68,355 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, which was 9.3 percent more than December 2015. The majority of visitors originated from Western Europe, which was a 16.5 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

Sri Lanka is a picturesque island in the Indian Ocean, famous for its magnificent natural landscapes. It boasts a diverse ecosystem that is made up of miles of golden and white sandy beaches, majestic emerald-sloped mountains, thriving wildlife sanctuaries, verdant nature parks, and several heritage sites including ancient cities and colonial forts. Visitors can go surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, trekking through jungles, kayaking along rivers, and shopping in traditional markets in towns and villages.

The country is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including ancient cities such as Anuradhapura, which was founded in the 4th century BC and lay hidden beneath a thick jungle for decades. The city’s palaces, temples and monuments provide a fascinating insight into Sri Lanka’s ancient heritage.

In 2009, the 25-year-long civil conflict came to a halt, and since then, the island has seen a significant increase in international holidaymakers. The Sri Lanka Tourism Authority will be launching a new digital marketing tourism campaign in Europe in key destinations such as the UK, France and Germany.

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