Tourist arrivals see increase
With the dawn of peace there is a rapid increase in the number of
tourist arrivals especially from western countries.
According to the latest statistics over 80,000 tourists have arrived
in 2009 and it was a positive trend, Tourism Minister, Achala Jagoda
told a press conference at his Ministry yesterday.
He said that due to terrorist activities, western travel advisories
did not allow their citizens to travel to Sri Lanka and some of the
countries banned tourists visiting the country. While the terrorist war
was on, our neighbour India had sent around 83,000 tourists annually, he
During the past few months, tourist arrivals from Japan, USA and UK
have showed a significant growth.
The New York Times had reported Sri Lanka as the best travel
destination amongst the '31 Places to go in 2010' countries, he said.
"We have already taken action to increase the number of rooms in hotels
and had named 2011 as Year of Tourism.
"New hotels are planned to be built in Paasikudah, Kalkudah, Nilaveli
and Kalpitiya costal areas," Minister said. The Tourism Ministry will
launch a special double decker bus service between religious and
cultural centers in Colombo such as Gangarama temple, Museum and Jummah
mosque that are places of attraction for tourists, he said.
C de S