Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 29 January 2012





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Lanka to woo one million visitors this year

Sri Lanka will attract around one million tourists by the end of this year which in international terms will be very good as the percentage increase will be over 15percent said Jetwing Group of Hotels and Pacific Asia Travel Association Chairman, Hiran Cooray

He said that Sri Lanka tourism is progressing well by adding new hotels improving the existing infrastructure. "I feel we will come close to the target of 2.5 million by 2016.Sri Lanka recorded 855,975 tourist arrivals last year compaired to 654,476 in 2010." Arrivals from Western Europe were 315,210 accounting for a 36.8 percent of total arrivals.

Most of the European visitors were from Britain.Another 237,647 or 27.8 percent arrived from South Asia, mainly from India. Tourist arrivals hit a record high in December 2011 with 97,517, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) data revealed.

“The eonomic recession in the west, Passanger levy introduced in the United Kingdom, increasing fuel prices, lack of adequate human resources, natural disasters continue to impact tourism”,Cooray said.Sri Lanka needs to be marketed and promoted continuously.

Many of the Travellers are not aware of the continuous improvement of the hotel product in Sri Lanka. Due to this unawareness many guests feel that we have overpriced ourselves.

“PATA is working on a strategic plan, which is focusing mainly on being relevant to our members. As an Association that has membership from Government Industry and the carriers, we are doing our best to help them grow their business.

It is also important for us to increase our membership base”, the Association Chief said. PATA will also be providing an opportunity to Bhutan to host its first international Adventure Mart and Eco Tourism Conference in February 2012.


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