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Hemas signs agreement with IRCTC:

No drop in Buddhist pilgrims to India



Deputy General Manager Tourism, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd.,(IRCTC), Arun Srivastava exchanges the agreement with Director/General Manager, Hemas Travels (Pvt) Ltd., Riza Ahamat. Head of Outbound Leisure, The Leisure Wing of Hemas Travels, Jackie Weeraratne and Manager Operations, Hemas Travels (Pvt) Ltd., Rapti Dirckze are also in the picture. Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa

The number of tourists visiting holy places of Buddhist worship in India on pilgrimage has not dropped though non-essential travel has dropped due to the credit melt down early this year, said Director/General Manager, Hemas Travels (Pvt) Ltd., Riza Ahamat.

He was speaking after signing an agreement between Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Cooperation Ltd (IRCTC) and Hemas Travels (Pvt) Ltd. Hemas is the local agent for the Mahaparinirvan Express- Buddhist Circuit Special Train.

He said that in-bound tourism is growing steadily since Sri Lanka is not rigid on visas and has flexible currency rates. Around 3,000 tourists from Asian countries visit Sri Lanka every month for various reasons.

The tours to India have become popular among Sri Lankans recently and the air fare too has come down due to the competitive packages offered by different airlines. Therefore, we believe that many carriers will come to Sri Lanka in the near future since Sri Lanka has become an attractive leisure destination, he said. The situation will be much better with the dawn of peace and many tourists have evinced an interest in Sri Lanka.

 

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